Friday, May 28, 2004

Joanne has written a post about cat vomit.

I would probably get a pet cat if it wasn't for all the vomit I'd have to clear up. I'd be even later for work every day than I already am.

When I was 17 I worked in a shoe shop on saturdays and sundays. I loathed getting up and going out at a time when the roads were so empty, as everyone else was clearly still asleep in bed.

One morning, I got up as usual and got ready for work. My mum was still asleep. I fed the cats, like the dilgent daughter that I was. One cat in particular has always had a bad habit of eating too quickly. So he wolfed down his kat-o-meat (life before Arthurs!) Then he ate loads of dried biscuits, and washed it all down with some tasty water.

By way of thanking me for feeding him, he vomited it all straight back up. All over the washing machine.

There were 15 minutes left before I had to go to work. I was dressed and ready so could easily have cleared it up. But instead I thought "fuck that" and hatched a cunning plan. I was worried that my mum would be cross if she found out I'd left the cat sick to fester. Cleaning up cat sick was a chore I constantly wriggled out of. So I wrote her a note:

"Mum. I was getting ready for work this morning, and just as I was about to leave, Honey started coughing. Then, before I had a chance to put him out in the garden, he threw up. It was amazing. He held his head high, and a huge wave of vomit came out of his mouth.

I would have cleaned it up, but just didn't have time. Sorry. See you later."

Pleased with my letter (particularly the section about holding his head up high. I knew that would make her laugh) I sat down with my cup of tea and watched whatever crappy TV was on at 8.15 on a saturday.

And who should come downstairs, and find me sat with my cup of tea (evidently *not* too busy to clear up cat sick before work) but my mother.

I could only snigger at how hilarious my note was, and mutter apologies for being such a lazy bi-atch. Fortunately at this point, it really was too late for me to clear up the sick, so I legged it out of the door. When I got back, the washing machine top was gleaming white - no vomit in sight. Result!


At a job interview recently (yes, I am still going for job interviews) I was asked what really pisses me off at work.

I gave the kind of answer that shows I am a perfectly well-rounded individual who can recognise conflict and deal with it positively.

What I really wanted to say was -

Morons who walk away and leave the photocopier when it jams. They wait for someone else to come along and open up the side cover and remove the crumpled sheet. (It really isn't difficult.) Then they saunter back and use it again.

But that would have made me out to be petty and bloody minded, which of course I'm not.

I am waiting for a call from an agency about this job. The interview went very well - I was there for 90 minutes, chatting away to the HR director, so I'm positive.

Even if I don't get it, I always have hope - as I've been shortlisted for 2 other jobs and have interviews for them next week. (I'd much rather have a firm job offer than hope, but hey ho.)

Unfortunately means I am spending the 2nd half of BH weekend preparing for them rather than camping as planned.

Totally unrelated - I have discovered that if you take a slab or ordinary tofu (not fancy-pants marinaded or smoked), put it in the freezer, and then defrost it, it comes out with a springy texture that makes it taste like it's been deep-fried. So now it's solid tofu-flesh inside my freezer.


Wednesday, May 26, 2004

You’ve got to love bus drivers. This happened today:

Me: “What’s the difference between a single and a return to Chatham?”

Him: “Well a return brings you back.”


Also while in Chatham, I saw a poster for a new Chinese buffet. It said “eat as much as you wish”.

Which I thought could only ever be factually incorrect. I will never be able to eat as much as I wish – I always seem to fill up after my second plate, while my boyfriend wolfs down his fourth or fifth.

This reminded me of an conversation my two sisters once had, which degenerated very quickly into an argument.

Sister A: Have you seen the new restaurant in town? It’s an “eat as much as you can” Chinese.

Sister B: Eurch, you are so revolting. It’s not “eat as much as you can”, it’s “eat as much as you like.” Typical of you to say “eat as much as you can” – you’re so greedy.

Sister A: “Shut up you bitch.”

I was cowering in the corner, waiting for a proper catfight to occur. Fortunately sister A saw the funny side, and took the opportunity to horrify squeamish sister B even more. She said: “If I opened up a buffet restaurant, I’d call it “Eat til you bleed!”

At which point Sister B gagged and had to leave the room. And Sister A and I rolled around laughing.

Talking of sisters – I’ve seen two nuns in the past week. What are the chances of that happening?


Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I've just got back from my ultrasound scan at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. One IUCD present and correct.

Waiting for the bus back to work, a bus went past with a "Get off the bus one stop early" advert, for the British Heart Foundation - telling people that small amounts of exercise can protect them against heart disease. The woman sat next to me missed the point entirely.

"Oh no. They shouldn't be telling us to do that. You might get lost! What if a youngster got lost?"

Well I'm sure the extra bit of exercise they get wandering the streets will be great for their hearts.


Monday, May 24, 2004

My boyfriend has Gout.

Gout! As in, what Henry VIII had. What grumpy old men get. Not young strapping types like him.

Last year, he was admitted to hospital with a duodenal ulcer.

He is a 25 year old in a 50 year old's body.


In case you were wondering why I was distressed with myself for buying clothes from QVC, I have updated the link to show what I really bought. An electric bag sealer. Oh. Dear.

Mind you - I can't wait for it to arrive, so I can set about sealig everything in sight. When my mum first got a power drill, I drilled a banana!


Thursday, May 20, 2004

I purchased this yesterday, from QVC.

Kill me now.


Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Wallet Audit

I've realised that if I lost my wallet, I would do the usual phoning my banks to stop their cards, but I'd have no idea what else was in there to get replaced.

So here are the contents. Now all I have to remember is today's date so I can come here to check, the next time I need to. (And I haven't lost or had it stolen since 1995, so I'm surely due it.)

Smile Bank Cards -

Joint current account
Own current account
Own credit card
Joint savings account

HSBC Bank Cards

Graduate account
Bills Account
Credit Card

(All the HSBC cards are now useless as I have moved all my banking to Smile. I just have to get round to going into a brach to tell them where to shove it.)

Security card for work
Trade Union membership card
NUS Card (not a student, but perk of the job)
Sainsbury's Nectar Card
Ace Card - giving discounts on loads of things in London. I've just about clawed back what it cost me (£12) in day trips etc. but not really worth buying again.
R18 membership card, for the other cinema
CIPD membership card
Blood Donor Card
Boots Gift Card - nasty replacement for gift vouchers. They suggest that after I've spent my gift, why don't I keep it topped up for when I shop there. Hmm. Because handing over my debit card/cash is so tricky....
Matalan "membership" card. The few times I've been to matalan, I normally haven't got this card with me. So I keep rejoining.
WeightWatchers Gold Membership Card. In honour of the fact that I lost 16lbs with them earlier this year. Wherever I am in the world, I just have to flash it, and I can get weighed for free. (As long as I don't weigh more that 9 stone 6. Then I'd have to cough up £4.75 for the pleasure of being told I'd gained weight.)
Boots Advantage Card
2 Plasters - to deal with unanticipated foot disasters
2 bus saver tickets. Not for much longer - now Oyster Pre-Pay can be used on buses
£2 "choice" voucher - redeemable at thousands of high street shops. Got it for doing some market research (staring at bags of nachos and saying which ones I preferred) a few weeks ago.

It would be a huge amount of hassle to have to get all those replaced, so I think a sensible decision would be to keep half of them at home. I can normally predict when getting up in the morning whether I'll be donating blood, or going to an R18 film at the other cinema later that day. That's what I'm going to do - streamline it.


Are you single? In a relationship but want a holiday by yourself?

Then purchase 35 issues of the Daily Express and you might just be able to get a cruise for £10. (Plus the cost of all those newspapers that are only fit for the recycling box).

Reason it's for singletons only is because if you want to travel as a couple, they'll have to pay £1200 to join you. Bearing this in mind, there will almost certainly be a huge "single supplement".

More about plans to swamp the offer with 1.1 million single people here.


Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Yearning dealt with. I've booked our coach tickets for Fri 28 - Sun 30 May. When talking to my mum to arrange this, she told me she and her partner are very into Geochching. At first I was dubious, but reading more about it has made me want to go to Greenwich Park and get hunting.


Summer is playing havoc with my feet. I've been wearing sandals for the past few days. They're old sandals that I've had for 2 years, but since I haven't worn them since last year, my feet are reacting as if I've just put them in a new pair of shoes. They're covered in blisters. This means my 35 minute brisk walk to work was actually a 45 minute dawdle this morning, to avoid putting pressure on the blisters. I plastered them up, but they peeled off after five minutes.

This morning as I took plasters out of their box, 2 stickers for a shakeaway loyalty card fell out. God knows what they were doing in there. Obviously a poor attempt at "tidying up" last time I was visiting Bournemouth. And suddenly I was overcome with such an urge to just get out of here - take the first train (or megabus, since I'm poor) to Bournemouth. Sit on the beach, spend time with my family, walk through the gardens, just *be there*. Waking up in my mum's house felt appealing for the first time in years. I have to remember that when I returned to live there briefly after university I was about as unhappy as I'd ever been in my whole life. Very few of my school friends live there anymore. My social life consisted of visitng my Grand-dad, and going for walks with my mum and her partner. I was doing a job I loathed, and had a boyfriend miles away who I drove 3 hours to see every weekend. Even after we broke up I was pretty miserable, and used to spend weekends visiting friends elsewhere.

So why the yearning??! Who knows. I might try and persuade R to go there with me this bank holiday weekend. I think that's just what I need - 3 days spent with my family, embroiled in their tangled up lives, relying on once-an-hour public transport to get away from it for a breather. I'll soon remember why I don't want to go back!


Monday, May 17, 2004

I need to get married, so I can have one of these at my reception.


Sunday, May 16, 2004

I am a saint with an excellent social life. This weekend I have mostly:

Phoned E-London Energy and asked them to kindly stop writing to us, begging us to go back to having our electricity supplied by them. We pointed out that the reason we switched to Unit-e is because their energy is from 100% renewable sources, unlike E-london. So although they may be able to give us cheaper power, that isn’t our main concern. And the 50 tonnes of begging mail they send us every year doesn’t increase my opinion of them. They also should have done their homework – as their main pulling ploy was to say getting our gas from them too would save us even more money. Our block of flats doesn’t have a gas supply.

Purchased new trainers so I may resume my jogging for the race for life. I imagine they are made in a sweat shop, so I’ve lost my halo there.

Made a spinach roulade. Yum.

Gone to a Eurovision Song Contest party. It was marvellous fun – especially observing that every country in Europe has a Best Friend with which it trades Douze Points. France and Monaco. Germany and Turkey. Greece and Cyprus. Sweden and Denmark. Etc. etc. Except the Royaume Uni. We truly are Norman No Mates. The party was at a friends in Eltham. We took the N21 home, which was an evening’s excitement in itself. The 00.46 didn’t turn up. We know because we waited from 00.30 (having witnessed the very last 321 at 00.28 sail past). While waiting for the 01.01, a drunk looking woman asked us when the next bus was. We told her in an entirely friendly and non-threatening manner. Then she looked at us suspiciously and said “I’m just going to wait at the other bus stop”, and ran off in a hurry. 10 minutes later, she did indeed get on at the next stop, and ran up to us and greeted us like old friends. Then asked how to get to the Venue. I told her it was in New Cross. The man she was sat next to helpfully pointed out that the Venue stop letting people in at 1 o clock, so she was too late. And she looked at us and rolled her eyes in such a way as to suggest “who is this mad nutter I’m sat next to?!” She then told us all about her nightmare evening, getting on the wrong bus from Bromley and losing her friends. Now she was off, alone, to an evening in the Venue. Her evening was about to get a whole lot worse I imagine! We bid her farewell when the bus got to Lee Green. And slept with all the windows wide open. God bless living on the 2nd floor.

Filled out an application form for a great looking job. Demonstrating why I wanted to work for the organisation, and how I met all aspects of the person specification in no less than 2 sides of A4 was tricky, when the spec was as long as my arm.

Gone for a long walk in Dulwich village using our eccentric london guidebook. An area of London I have never explored. It was lovely, although any part of London containing the word “village” tends to have more than its fair share of twats in ¾ length trousers. With a bambaccino (see Black Books!) in a 4 wheel drive pushchair.

Gone for a run. Run 2 minutes, Walk 1 minutes x 5, run 1 minute walk 1 minute x 5. Hard work, but not as hard as last time.

I am thoroughly depressed that it’s Monday tomorrow, although I am buoyed by the fact that due to days off, bank holidays and meetings/hospital appointments, I am in the office for only 4 days a week for the next month. Hurrah!

Now I’m going to polish off the rest of that spinach roulade…..


Thursday, May 13, 2004

Following Tim's suggestion, and Angel's example, I shall be penning a letter today, to the Archbishop of Canterbury, asking him to make a statement about the abstinence movement - Silver Ring Thing - which is soon to be taking its show on the road in the UK.

I phoned yesterday, and was helpfully told I'd have to put that kind of request in writing. Which is daft really, because I'm fairly sure they'll have some kind of formal process they have to follow with written correspondence. Whereas with a phone call, she could always have said "yes certainly" then omitted to do anything with my request. And they are obviously trying ever so hard to be accessible to all - which is why they don't have an email address. Amazing.


Thank you very much for feeding William

Can anyone confirm (with evidence preferably, but if not your word will do) what animal William was? I say he's a goldfish. R says he's a dog. We both agree if William turns out to be a dog, it's a highly unusual name for a canine. Pretty unusual for a goldfish too.

Also, if you remember what William's feeder was thanked with (was it Roses or Quality Steet??) please tell me.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I had to wait ages for a train home yesterday evening. So I permitted myself to pick up the discarded Daily Express and Evening Standard on the bench next to me.

The Standard had a hateful piece about caesarians. The author (who does not approve of them) claims that she had her second child in a birthing pool - in her study, surrounded by candles. Her son slipped into the world, quietly and peacefully.

Having never given birth, I can't talk from practical experience. But I'm fairly sure that her baby's birth wouldn't have been quite as quiet and peaceful as she made out. And I also like the fact that she gave birth in her study. Did she reach over and pen a couple of articles 5 minutes later - so peaceful was her birth that she didn't even need any time off afterwards?


Monday night was just FABULOUS. I am officially a master chef. Unfortunately I am a master chef, with a low alcohol tolerance. By 10.30 I was vomiting in the toilet. Being the hostess, I could at least vomit in the comfort of my own toilet. I had yesterday booked of work, so the frivolity could extend into the morning. Good bloody job. I felt grotty all day. Really really awful. Astonishingly, I still feel a bit rough this morning. This was a pain, as I went out with other friends yesterday evening. (Social engagements, eh? You wait ages for one, then 2 come along at once). I felt nauseous and really tired all evening - so definitely didn't make the most of the occasion. Ah well, it's an excuse to do it all again next week!


Monday, May 10, 2004

I went to see The Good Old Naughty Days yesterday evening, at The Other Cinema.

It was worth seeing - even though the £7 ticket was really £8 as I had to pay £1 to join their R18 "club". Membership lasts a year, but I'm not sure how many other R18 films they're going to show over the next 12 months.

It was funny to see women in these films with unshaved armpits, and the biggest, hairiest bushes I've ever seen. It was back in the days before silicone implants, so they were all reasonably proportioned. And it was chock-a-block full of lesbians "enjoying themselves". So men really haven't changed since the 1920s.

Getting home was a bit of a nightmare. We had to detour to R's office to pick up some stuff he needed for a meeting he was going straight to this morning. And the South Eastern Trains timetable told me a pack of lies. As did the staff at Charing Cross Station.


But we did get falafel and hoummus in pitta bread on the way home, washed down with a giant slab of Baklava, which made it all worth it.


Sorry. They're all sorry!

I've always found it really hard to apologise to someone when I'm truly sorry for what I've done. I feel awful and ashamed and the words get stuck in my throat like a great big lump. Yet if it's someone I couldn't give two hoots for, and I don't feel in the least bit bad about what I've done, it's a piece of piss. Which may explain why TB, Dubya and Donald Rumsfeld have all been apologising so much all weekend.


Friday, May 07, 2004

Oh dear. I've got a cold. Again. Bollocks. Hope this one doesn't last.

Perhaps it's the fuggy head, rather than lack of sex, that is turning me into Elaine Benes in The Abstinence.

In this episode - George and his girlfriend can't have sex, because she's got Glandular Fever. George, who is usually not the sharpest tool in the box, suddenly becomes a genius:

Jerry: That's what's doin' it. You're no longer pre-occupied with sex, so your mind is able to focus.

George: You think?

Jerry: Yeah. I mean, let's say this is your brain. (Holds lettuce head) Okay, from what I know about you, your brain consists of two parts: the intellect, represented here (Pulls off tiny piece of lettuce), and the part obsessed with sex. (Shows large piece) Now granted, you have extracted an astonishing amount from this little scrap. But with no-sex-Louise, this previously useless lump, is now functioning for the first time in its existence. (Eats tiny piece of lettuce)

Elaine, meanwhile, advises that she and her boyfriend stop having sex, hoping it will have a similar effect on him, so he can pass his medical school exams. But things don't work out so well for her:

Elaine: How come he's gettin' so smart? I stopped having sex with Ben three days ago and I don't know no Portuguese?

Jerry: Are you all right?

Elaine: I don't know. It's just the last coupla days my mind has been, not good.

Jerry: Wait a second, I know what's happening. The no sex thing is having a reverse effect on you.

Elaine: What? What are you talking about?

Jerry: To a woman, sex is like the garbage man. You just take for granted the fact that any time you put some trash out on the street, a guy in a jumpsuit's gonna come along and pick it up. But now, it's like a garbage strike. The bags are piling up in your head. The sidewalk is blocked. Nothing's getting through. You're stupid.

Elaine: I don't understand.

Jerry: Exactly.

So this is what must have happened to R and me. A few weeks ago, my IUD felt like it had come out of place. The waiting list to get it scanned to see for sure, is 8 weeks. (My doctor could only manage "it's probably fine" and probably isn't good enough for me after last year!). So since the March we've been using condoms, which is an annoying and expensive way of having sex. So half the time we just don't bother. Since then: I've gone out without my door keys twice, been rejected from 4 jobs, and yesterday evening sat on a train to all the way to Cannon Street, when I knew I had to change at London Bridge to get to Charing Cross. All very out of character for a hyper-efficient character like myself.

These are all distinctly R-esque activities. He's the one who forgets his keys, has no career direction, and gets on the wrong train. Meanwhile, he's being sent on a management course, has remembered his keys every day for a month (a miracle), and yesterday evening, managed to direct us to a Harry Hill comedy show without getting lost!

The abstinence - it's the only possible answer.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

Gaaah Gaaaaah!

"Becky" (every pregnant 14 year old's caring, older sister) at standupgirl has got a veritable photo album of foetuses (foeti?) from 5-32 weeks old. She says "notice how these girls love to sleep".

What else are they supposed to do? They're living in a uterus. They can't really do much else!


Children? Expensive?

What's all the fuss about how expensive it is to bring up children? It costs money to exist in society. Presumably then, if you're going to be responsible for someone else's existence, it will cost you more.

And it will be a *lot* more, if you are:

Catherine Clarke, 40, a theatrical agent, lives in Islington with her partner and their two children, Thomas, 18, and Alice, 12.

This is their weekly expenditure, also detailed here.

Food for the family: £100
Clothes for both children: £40
Drama classes for Alice: £5
Youth club: £5
Dance classes (modern, tap and ballet): £30
Travel and lunch costs for Tom for school: £40
Pay as you go phone credit for Tom: £10-20
Pay as you go phone credit for Alice: £2.50
Spending money for Tom when he goes out clubbing: £50
Family trips to theme parks: £150
Family cinema trips: £40

How can you possibly spend £150 per week on trips to theme parks? Do they have a Chessington season ticket?! And as for Tom - if he wants to spend £80 per month on his phone, and £50 a week clubbing, he can get himself a part time job to pay for it. Do his drippy parents see they're doing him no favours by giving him what he wants, when he wants? They went on to moan about how expensive university would be. Well maybe if they'd gone on 3 theme park outings per month instead of 4, they'd have a decent amount saved up for it!

I also want to draw your attention to this crock of shit...

They are plugging a book...

"Exposing the obstacles to post-abortion healing this book speaks to the heart, to women who struggle with feelings of grief, shame, and guilt."

The shame and guilt piled onto them by websites like theirs?


Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Bleurgh. I couldn't sleep very well last night. R slept in the living room as he has a really bad cold and needs to sleep sitting up so he can breathe. About 3.30am, I had dropped off and he came to bed and attempted to sleep lying down. He put on music quietly to help him fall asleep, but it woke me up, and in a half-awake delerium I accused him of having terrible taste in music. In the end he gave up and returned to the settee for upright sleep.

Today I feel a bit crap as a result, but fortunately do not have R's cold. It's a stinker! I had so many coughs and colds all through winter - I'd be so fed up if I got another one now.

Sunday was a lovely sunny day. We went for a walk along the Thames/Woolwich road, (depending on how the path went) from Woolwich to the Dome. Ended up at the filmworks, and saw Monster. Very good - go see it before it disappears to make way for action-packed shite.

Yesterday I did *all* my ironing. Not one or two token t-shirts like I normally do. The whole lot. About 30 items of clothing. It. Took. Hours. I set the ironing board up in front of the PC and watched lots of Seinfeld while I was doing it, which made it more bearable.

And now here we are again - a new week. Still pissing with rain. Still in my job. Roll on Friday!


Saturday, May 01, 2004

I went out last night and got drunk with work people. When I got home, I fell asleep on the settee almost immediately. At some point, R must have also got home from his night out with work people, sat on the settee next to me and fallen asleep. Because next thing I knew we were both awake at 2am watching this. Oh. Dear.

This morning was a bit weird. I woke up at 7 and immediately started gabbling to R about anything and everything. We got up, ate crumpets, and watched this episode of Seinfeld. And then went back to bed, woke up at noon, and ate some more crumpets.

And it all feels like it happened in a dream!

Time now, I think, for the Andrea Doria.