Saturday, 31 March 2012

A day in the life of Lucy

Yesterday started on a negative note; an argument at 4 am.

By 9.05 am, the sun was shining, boys safely ensconced at school, no commitments lay ahead. I wandered around town all morning, partly to enjoy the sunshine, partly to indulge in charity shop therapy and partly to think about the early morning debacle.
I did very well, found the most interesting items of clothing in one day (another photoshoot looms) and, half way through the charity round, enjoyed a custard slice and a pot of tea in The Princes, a delightful Art Deco style cafe.

I entertained myself by looking at the list of items on the bill and making up band names; DANISH WEDGE GRAVY was one (or maybe a gross euphemism).
I also marvelled at the fine array of ladies sporting bandaged legs - is this compulsory post 65?

Most of the cafes in Pontypridd are of the greasy spoon variety, but this one is special. I don't go there often because the customers are too sensible. No eavesdropping fun to be had.
 I like the font on the signs, and I like the big copper urn. I have dreamt about having a cup of tea and a custard slice on my own there for ages. It took 4 and a half years to finally achieve this goal. It was pleasant, I probably won't do it again until my leg is bandaged.

It was BOGOF day at the Red Cross charity shop. I came away with four items, only paid for two, the dress I found made my day - I'll show you soon. I chortled at one of the clothing labels, it sounded like something you'd find in the Profanisaurus.

I walked home briskly, as I passed Thorntons, which is having a closing down sale, I heard a lady say "I'm buying Reagan and Teagan's Easter eggs". I smiled, I hope they're not twins with rhyming names. 
When I got to my street, I saw the shouty woman from over the road getting out of her latest gentleman friend's car. I didn't think her boob tube and hotpants outfit was a good choice.

I ate some leftover beef stew, only I would make beef stew when all around are eating salads and firing up the barbecue. I hung another load of washing out - pink bibs (my niece's). I wonder if the neighbours think I've popped out another baby - a fully-fledged workshy fop (anyone remember that insult from Vic Reeves Big Night Out?).

I tried on my new clothes, everything fitted, but some things would look a lot better if I cut down on cakes, lager and Doritos. 

I had to rush back to town to buy flowers for a friend who keeps giving me things, but won't take, money. My shoes were cutting into my flesh, there was a guy standing in the middle of the road telling everyone, loudly, that "God offers you a comfort blanket". I liked that idea, so did my feet. 

I picked the boys up, took them to the park. They whined, cried and fought. I listened to a lady rave about a meal she'd had
 "he cooked pasta, and we had pesto with it, it was STUNNING!"
"what's pesto then?"
"you know, that green stuff in a little jar"

We went home, all of us were tired, all in bed by 9.30.

Maybe I need a job now, eh?

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

High School Playlist

I completed a High School Playlist post last week, and then deleted it in a temper because some of the links didn't work. I felt rather silly afterwards, it would have been far easier to delete the links (but Blogger, as well as my good self, was having a funny five minutes).

So, let's try again. I was tagged, what seems like years ago in blog terms, but it was a fortnight ago, by Vix. to contribute to this:

High School, 1989-1994. 

I generally did not enjoy school. I had a bad attitude, poor concentration, real trouble with maths and spent all day feeling bored and frustrated. I was good at languages, drama and English, but didn't put much effort in. No regrets, I've been exactly the same at work, bouts of enthusiasm and high energy, followed by me asking myself quietly "what am I doing here?". Yes, I'm the same at home too. The question now is "What am I doing on this planet?".

The first song I remember listening to with friends at school was Tom's Diner by Suzanne Vega. I had all her albums by the age of 16, she has a wonderful voice but some of her stuff is so blinkin' boring.

I dabbled with a few genres, never really got into hip hop or heavy metal like my friends, some tracks will always remind me, fondly, of school. One is Can I Kick It? by A Tribe Called Quest. 
Isn't it amazing how the brain stores lyrics to songs in your head? I still know all the words despite not listening to this track since my teens. Another is Falling to Pieces by Faith No More - it sounds horribly dated to me now but stirs up memories of the feeling of inadequacy which started at puberty (and still stings!)

As music was, and still is, a major part of my life, I'm struggling to contain the list. I'll omit the obvious artists like  Radiohead, The Cure, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Massive Attack etc, because they were a constant for me and so many.

My friends and I would hang around the Y.M.C.A every school night and fight over what music to listen to. The boys wanted to listen to Metallica and Slayer, us girls wanted to listen to more lightweight stuff. One track we all agreed on though, despite it's heaviness was Stigmata by Ministry

Here's  great video to accompany a track which reminds me a lot of school, and of my late friend (more about her here) who I went to see Orbital with, we had £2 each in our pockets and danced the night away

Orbital - Lush

Car boot sales - all human life on display

Another timeless track deeply embedded in me is Papua New Guinea by Future Sound of London. Sends a shiver down my spine, so it does

I'd wish I'd have been old enough to fully embrace the rave culture. It's all fair and well hearing how great it was to be a punk, how fantastic the 60's were and to stare in envy at my neighbour Kathryn going out in the eightis looking every inch the one who made it to the Bananarama shortlist, but the Rave culture started when I was a bit too young to fully embrace it, and I feel my age group had a pretty raw deal with music in some ways.

When I'm trowelling on the slap for a night out, this track always gets me in the mood though - Playing With Knives by Bizarre Inc. It did back then too.

And, in light of the beautiful weather, remember this number - It's a Fine Day? I remember seeing it on Top of The Pops, and thinking how brave she was having that hairdo, if you can call it that.

The main track I remember throughout school, which always seemed to be on is, unsurprisingly by The Smiths

Lyrics which must resonate with most teenagers at school, surely?

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

I am the son
and the heir
of a shyness that is criminally vulgar
I am the son and the heir
of nothing in particular

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

There's a club if you'd like to go
you could meet somebody who really loves you
so you go, and you stand on your own
and you leave on your own
and you go home, and you cry
and you want to die

When you say it's gonna happen "now"
well, when exactly do you mean?
see I've already waited too long
and all my hope is gone

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

Please join in, if you would like to, I won't tag anyone, but urge you to look at Vix,  Sarah Misfit and Curtise's brilliant contributions.

...and the same wrong link thing happened again, I won't delete it this time - I hope you know what How Soon is Now?  sounds like!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Wardrobe tour

When I'm not watching The Jeremy Kyle Show, drinking tea, playing Bingo or knocking back flagons of White Ace cider, you'll find me trawling the charity shops.

Here is a glimpse of my latest charity shop buys and gifts from fellow bloggers. Guess which charity shop is my favourite?
Excuse the badly applied make-up, it was all done in a rush. I don't go out looking the colour of Morph, honest!

I hope the slideshow format works, I've never tried before:

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Midweek filler

Typing blog posts on my phone is not something I enjoy, but I have no choice.
Liam has reclaimed his netbook, he's well into social networking now.

I'm lying in bed with cold feet and a  bloated belly from binge eating. I'm from the John Prescott school of eating disorders.

Along with my mum, I looked after my niece and nephew today. I returned to a mother and toddler group I thought I'd left behind 2 years ago. Margaret, 80, was still there. Margaret is a no-nonsense sort of lady, efficient and thorough. If you forget to pay your £1, cor blimey, you can guarantee she won't forget.
Tea is served in bone china cups with saucers. One gulp and I've finished.
Cath runs the group, her husband is a parson (is that the right word? He takes services at the Chapel. Too fiddly to Google it using phone mid blog post).
Cath used to teach maths at my high school. I hate mathematics, hurts my brain and makes me feel inadequate.

I was treated to 40 minute run down of all the activity I've missed over two years, including the lead being stolen, twice, from the roof.
I felt I'd never been away.

A new pensioner had joined the throng of helpers. I didn't catch her name. I'd say she was in her 70's, and that sartorial elegance is not something she is known for. Jade green jacket (short sleeved, gold buttons, mock breast pocket with floral trim), floral skirt which skirted mid-calf, white socks pulled up, revealing about an inch of blueish hairy-skinned leg. White trainers.
I was transfixed, she's quite a character - chasing the toddlers, singing and clapping very loudly and suddenly, darting about like a lead theif.
Babies, toddlers, young mums, older mums, grandparents and great-grandparents. All sat together.
I really panicked when I thought how quickly the time could pass between now and me being one of the grandmothers.

And how soon I could be sporting an "I don't give a shit" outfit.

Then it dawned on me.
Nothing is going to change!

Out of interest:
What was your favourite job?

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Anteater Strikes

I'm very grateful to Lakota for tagging me in this questions meme. Another self-pitying whine of a post would have been a bit much, I'm sure you'll agree!

1. Favourite game you played as a kid a) at home b) at school?

a) I have always loved Scrabble, and role play games/dressing up
b) My favourite game at school was the imaginary one I played solidly for 3 years every lunchtime with my friend Rhian Pugh. We lived in the wild and had a horse each, my name was Crystal

2.  Personality trait which secretly really irritates you in a close friend or partner?

I hate how I can never keep a secret from Rob. He knows everything. Arsehole

3. You get to choose one TV channel only - what do you go for?

Maybe News 24. I'm no fan of TV, but at least I'd be aware of what's going on in the world

4. Would you rather be really beautiful, or really funny? Why?

Really beautiful, you can work at being funny, but have to be born beautiful

5. What's your Native American totem animal?

What kind of question is this Lakota?! I did a bit of research, I'm definitely most like the Anteater - 'Lethargy, Curiosity, Nosiness'

6. Which fictional character do you most relate to?

Marge Simpson. May dye my hair blue and be done with it

7. Music which you couldn't be paid to listen to?

Almost all R'n'B is just dire in my mind (the Rhymes and Beats variety, not Rhythm and Blues)

8. Who would play you in the film version of your life story?

Robin Williams in a mask, probably

9. Best band you've ever seen live?

Well, it pains me to admit this - but it was Clannad! My friend Yvette and I went through a bit of a 'let's be sophisticated' phase in our mid teens.  We'd go out for fancy meals and pretend to be intelligent. I wasn't expecting to enjoy Clannad as much as I did.
The instrumental arrangement was incredible, flautists, harpists, all manner of medieval bell-type  things, I loved it. Smashing Pumpkins were the most disappointing.

10. Most annoying thing about blogging or bloggers?

You've all got better clothes than me

11. What is or would be your Superhero talent?

BELCHING so loudly the earth moves is my talent

My turn to ask 11 questions:

1) If there was such a thing as reincarnation, what would you come back as?

2) What is your favourite sandwich filling?

3) What's the most pain you've ever felt?

4) What advice would you give your teenage self?

5)  How many friends have you got?

6) What is the last lie you told?

7) What is the worst film you ever watched (so I know to avoid)

8) Do you think George Clooney is overrated?

9) What trait do you most deplore in yourself?

10) Do you get the giggles? If so, what type of thing induces them?

11) What in your life has been the biggest waste of money?

I tag Keshling  Krista Looking for Blue Sky and Sarah - please answer my questions if you have the time and inclination. Please don't feel obliged to though, I won't cry if you don't (honest).

I'd love to hear anyone's answers - I really am an Anteater you know....

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Caribbean Dream

A new battery has been ordered for the digital camera (another thing that was broken). Once that is sorted, you (un)lucky followers will get to see my collection of clothes from all over the place.
Liam has been horrified by my outfit choices lately, hiding from friends when accompanying me to town. "Mum, why don't you get a job, then you can buy clothes from River Island and New Look instead of charity shops?". He just don't get it..

Daily posts proved too much to achieve. Last week was very difficult, maybe I'll tell you all about it one day. For someone who lives a very quiet, perhaps boring life, I had enough drama in 3 days to keep me going for a few years.
A litre of Jack Daniels, curry and chips, Just Dance on the Wii Fit and watching clips of early 90's dance videos (and trying, unsuccessfully to shuffle) with my friend Helen on Friday night helped to calm me down (the chips came after the dancing, thankfully).

I wandered into town last Thursday with Liam (12) and my baby niece (who I will be looking after for 3 days per week starting this week). It was warm, bright and lively.
Liam stayed off school following the tragedy and I saw a different side of him, got to know what goes on in his head. It's easy for me to get caught up with the little ones and I don't spend much time just with Liam, he needs more attention, definitely.

We laughed at a lady who was clearly three sheets to the wind, swaying around B&M Bargains. Trying to act sober by pretending she'd forgotten her glasses, this lady loudly asked for help to locate various salty snacks and spirits. As I walked past her, I caught a whiff of body odour akin to liver and onion gravy. She accidentally smashed a bottle of  Caribbean Dream (whatever that is)  and insisted it flew off the shelf. I felt sorry for her, she seemed troubled, like someone who needed support.

Later on, as we headed home I saw the drunk lady again. I pointed her out to Liam, she was trying to text and walk, not easy when sober. An elderly lady fell over, dropped like 'a sack of shit' as my father would say (not me, I'm too prim and proper). The drunk lady rushed over, picked her up from behind, I could hardly bear to watch - imagined a human pile up scenario unfolding. Next, she deposited her on a chair outside a cafe and comforted her before insisting upon getting her a cup of tea. Bless her, the concern was completely genuine.

I'd been feeling quite absorbed with my own drama, watching this scene somehow helped me. Reminded me what I love, which is the world.

I hope my coldsore buggers off ready for my photo shoot, it's a real eyesore.