Sunday, October 31, 2004

I went to Warminster yesterday for work. I got up at 5.30 (on a saturday!) and ended up getting delayed for 2 hours because my train manager told me to change at the wrong station. All this on a day when I really should have been jewellery shopping instead. But it was ok, because my whole day was made worth it: in Warminster, there was a pound shop devoted entirely to nasty christmas decorations, with a petition on the counter to keep it open. You wouldn't get that in the 99p stores in Lewisham.

During my long unneccesary wait at Swindon station, I saw a woman reading Cosmo, with a headline: "Must read report: the scaremongerers making a fast buck out of your fear." Which I think really is the saucepan calling the kettle dirty bottom.

Now I have to go for a run, because I've turned into a big old couch potato since the 10k run 3 weeks ago.


Friday, October 29, 2004

I am an engaged woman. Not engaged, as in, engaged in a particularly interesting conversation. Engaged, as in, engaged to be married.

I wish I could say it was deeply romantic, and the lovely R hired dropped to one knee, yadda yadda yadda you know the rest. In fact it was the result of 4 days of intense negotiations that the UN would be proud of. It's been the hardest 4 days of our relationship - trying to hard to find a way forward that suits us both. We've both been pretty miserable for a lot of it. But yesterday evening, we discovered a way to get married that is going to suit us both down to the ground, if not our families. In fact, I just called my sister to tell her the happy news and she was delighted, until I told her how we were planning to celebrate, and she told me that I was "a bit weird." Thanks! I thought it was a bit weird that someone with no religious sentiment should wish to get married in a church like she did 2 years ago, but kept my mouth shut.

The only way in which we're being "weird" is that we're not going to let our two families encounter each other. Instead we're going to go for dinner with each family on separate occasions. Mainly because we want our memories of the "wedding" (which will be spread over about 4 weeks, with all our various events planned) to be nice, and not of feeling stressed about what one mother in law is going to say to the other.

Plus we both have one surviving grandparent each, they are both bonkers, and in no circumstances should they ever meet!!

Then we're going to hire out the bar where I used to work (dirt cheap booze!) for a party for friends.

The actual legal bit is going to be me, R, and two randoms off the street. And we're seriously thinking of moving to Islington so we can get married at their registry office to make it a bit easier to pop over to the Peking Palace for dinner.

Is it wrong that I'm most excited about getting married because it means I can have dinner at the Peking Palace?

Who knows, but I'm enjoying it so far!


Friday, October 22, 2004

I wondered why my washing smelt a bit funny when it came out of the machine. Then I put the next load on and discovered a half-dissolved dishwasher tablet in the powder drawer. D'oh!

I am sat at the pooter, full of takeaway pizza (consolation for having to wash clothes twice), feeling a bit of a fraud as I'm wearing my jogging bottoms, because I haven't done a lot of running since the 10km two weeks ago. So I'm going to sign up for a half marathon! I can't decide where though. There are many all over the country but I'm lazy and really object to having to take the train to take some exercise. There is one in Oldham called the mayor's marathon, or something. Why can't the mayor of Lewisham organise his own? Strangely, the Flora London Half Marathon takes place at Silverstone in Northamptonshire.

Please note I am rubbish about checking up on facts, so if it actually takes place at Brands Hatch, tough.

And today's joke is:

What do you call a cat who has just eaten a duck?

A duckfilledfattypuss.


Sunday, October 17, 2004

I have never seen so much food in one place as last night at the autumnal BBQ.

First of all there were sufficient "nibbles" for 100 people when there were only about 15 there.

Then a huge tray of spinach and hummus wraps and celery with cream cheese got sent round - with strict instructions that only the 5 vegetarians present were to eat them. Which was weird because there were another 90 courses to go yet. We could have spared some wraps to the omnivores.

Then 8 garlic baguettes appeared. I had a slice, and it tasted weirdly of raw pork so avoided after that.

Then 4 platters of random mini Indian snacks.

Then a vat of tomato soup. What the fuck was that about? The house was boiling hot. Our hostess, P, seemed surprised that no-one wanted any. That's because we were all dying of over-eating.

Then the worlds biggest bowl of chopped veg appeared and P asked us to start constructing vegetable kebabs. There were about 40 skewers full.

Then the P threw a bag of peppers at me and asked me to chop them in half. Which I did. Then I asked what she would like me to do with them. And she said "you tell me, you're the vegetarian". So I whacked them in the oven, and took them out 10 minutes later. No-one ate them, because surprise surprise, we were bloody well full up!

Then someone went to sit on a stool and stumbled across a forgotten-about greek salad.

Then some jacket potatoes appeared.

Not forgetting of course all the bowls of potato salad, devilled eggs, coleslaw and rice salad that were put out.

And then they lit the barbecues.

16 veggie sausages, 30 meat sausages, 40 chicken drum sticks.

Plus 2 tubes of pringles.

There were dishes of marinaded pork and chicken, a plate of cubed feta cheese, and a whole bowl of chopped courgettes, scattered about the kitchen.

And then dessert. Which, worrying that we were all going to starve, P went out and purchased at 11.30pm.

There was a raspberry pavlova, 2 tubs of baileys ice cream, a bowl of mergingues and fruit salad, and a pineapple blancmange to choose from.

Amongst all this there was a curious man that drank an entire bottle of jack daniels, and kept burping ominously over the kitchen table. He would have done us all a favour by vomiting. Then some of it could have been chucked out.

To be helpful to P, (even though every part of my body was screaming "get me out of here and home to bed") I went round to the other guests at the end of the night and asked if they would like coffee. Instead of replying simply "yes" or "no", they became embroiled in a hilarious discussion about how they weren't allowed to ask for black coffee or the PC police would come and throw them in jail. So I thought "sod them" and gave them extra milky coffee as punishment.

Finally, at nearly 1am, we managed to make our excuses and get away. And as the final indignity, P said "ooh, shall I get out the chocolates?"


Friday, October 15, 2004

I am going to a barbecue tomorrow.

When it was arranged (and subsequently postponed) inAugust, I was assured by the host that "every year that I can remember, the weekend on or around the the 16th October has been unseasonally warm." And I agreed with her. It's my friends birthday that weekend and I remember celebrating it with her a few times and noting how unseasonally warm it was. Looks like this year is going to be different. I am farking freezing. And all of my jumpers are in a bin bag in the airing cupboard where I put them at the end of last winter due to lack of space on my hanging rail.

Unrelated, my mother and her miserable fucker of a boyfriend came to stay last weekend. Miserable fucker is quite harsh. But unfortunately true. They stayed in their camper van in our car parking space. I spent the whole weekend petrified that our neighbours would complain to the management company that there were "travelling people" staying in the car park. By the time they left on Monday morning, I felt totally denied of my weekend, and spent Monday evening in the vilest of moods. Going to Sainsburys for some basic foodstuffs and finding the entrance has moved (further away) and everything has moved round did nothing to improve this.

Seeing Richard Herring on Tuesday evening cheered me up no end though.

I have managed to make it through this week without buying Chat magazine this week, so I think the addiction was shortlived.

Now I'm off to fish some jumpers out of the airing cupboard. I can't take it anymore!


Wednesday, October 06, 2004

My wife gave me a baby girl - so I hacked her heart out

Our bathroom loan bought Pete a Filipino wife

3-in-a-bed - BUT ONE WAS DEAD

In for the kill. Starved, beaten and broken - my daughter got away BUT HE WASN'T FINISHED.

It took £1.7 million TO GET ME PREGNANT!

I was shot at for feeding the birds

All of the above, courtesy of Chat magazine, "the best read you'll ever have." I cannot link to it as it appears to have no online presence.

I was stood at the supermarket check out on Sunday and the magazine caught my eye. I could not believe any magazine could be so doom laden. It's worse than the Daily Mail on a bad day. So I did something I never thought I would do. I paid 72p for it and took it home. I just had to read it!

And I discovered the following things -

Chat magazine fnd it acceptable to call a story about a man who murdered his wife "pasta la vista baby". Even weirder is that this story is written entirely in the first person - flitting between the husband and wife. One is dead and the other serving life without parole in the USA. So they must have done quite a lot of guessing about what they were both thinking.

Pete did indeed leave his wife to marry a Filipino. The money bought him flights to visit her, rather than actually purchasing her, as their headline suggests.

There was no necrophilic gangbang. Damn. Instead, a man's wife died, he got a new girlfriend a few years later, and still really missed his wife. New girlfriend suspected the wife may have been watching them shagging from her place in heaven. I think this headline was actually the furthest from reality.

A man did starve and beat his girlfriend. He was sent to prison, and she killed herself with a drug overdose.

A woman was having trouble conceiving, so saved up loads of money for IVF. Just before she was due to start the treatment, she won the lottery. Then immediately got pregnant naturally. I highly suspect the £1.7 million had sod all to do with it.

A man did indeed shoot his disabled neighbour with an air gun when she fed the birds in her garden.

But the main thing is, I'm going to win back my 72 pence and then some. I have entered every single competition in the magazine. There are 20 puzzles/quizzes/crosswords/"spot the differences"/wordsearches in total. I did them all. Admittedly, the second class stamp I had to use to send off my entry coupon was a bit like throwing good money after bad, but I'm hopeful than one of the prizes will be mine. And some of the things I learned by doing the puzzles were amazing:

Halle Berry has been visiting a sex shop since the end of her marriage
A woman in Iran claims to have given birth to a frog
Harrison Ford and Calista Flockheart recently enjoyed a canal boat holiday
P Diddy has a degree in "Business"
A man has not had his hair cut for 31 years.

Oh shit, I think I'm addicted.


Sunday, October 03, 2004

To steal a heading from Bloggerheads, this is "only interesting to bloggers."


Well bugger, I still haven't got a bike. I fear I will forget how to ride one if I don't get one soon. Last saturday, R and I trooped off to Wandsworth to have a look at the police auction held there, hoping to nab a bargain. Alas, it seems that only men have their bikes stolen as there was not a single woman's bike there, and I was dismayed to hear that they generally sell for around £100. My mum and sister have both got bikes from police auctions for about £20. So we trooped off home again, via Poundland to stock up on goodies for our Operation Christmas Child boxes.

Every year when I was at school, a slightly more worthy pupil than most would stand up in assembly and urge us all to fill a shoe box full of stuff to send to a child in eastern europe as a christmas present. And I didn't because I couldn't be bothered. But last Friday my six year old niece phoned and asked told me that she had made two boxes and would I like to make one too? Oh the shame! My six year old niece has a bigger social conscience than me. So this year I made my first christmas shoe box. In fact, I made three. And you can too.


Mmmmmmushroom soup

250g mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped

Fry in a teaspoon of oil for 5 minutes.

Add 900ml stock and boil for 10 minutes

Add 150ml milk and 150 ml plain yoghurt and a handful of fresh parsley

Whizz with a stick blender.

You now have enough soup to eat every day for about a month. (Or so it felt like at the time, when whenever I moved, all I could feel was soup sloshing round inside me.)

Could be very nice served with garlic and oregano bread:

200ml water
2 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp salt
4 tsp dried oregano
450g strong white bread flour
1 tsp yeast

Put together in bread pan on basic setting.