Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tah - Dah!

I've been itching to link up with Lakota's  Tah-Dah Tuesday, but, what to 'Tah-Dah'?

I don't make many things these days, maybe the odd card, but nothing as impressive as a pair of shorts fashioned from a curtain, a la Vix

It has to be charity shop buys, and not even modelled by me, just quick snapshots taken late last night, I was too hot and bothered to put underwear on and stand there posing in my finds.

I had been looking forward to a 'day off' last Friday, no niece to look after, and no skip to fill. Charity shopping and maybe a cuppa in the sunshine sat opposite the meat van man (he spends the day shouting crass double entendres, and running down his ex-wife into an echoing mouthpiece).

I did very well with the charity shopping, 2 pairs of shorts, a dress, a vest top, 2 t-shirts, an encounter with a paranoid and charmless customer who insulted the staff in the most abhorrent way imaginable.

I also had another haircut. After years of no haircut - two within 6 weeks.

I told the hairdresser  "do whatever you like"

She made me look like a cross between this:

 and this:

But by last night it had flopped, limp and lifeless, to this:


Tah - Dah!

Clarks sandals - £3 

Dorothy Perkins 90's dress - £2 

St Michaels vest - £1.50

Cheap razors - don't bother

Manual labour - don't bother

I also made a card, inspired by Mexican Goddess  Todo Dorado:

What else could I make with buttons, broken bracelets, a  tangerine net and  collage?

I got home, ready for a cuppa, and eager to try on my finds. The school rang, as soon as I got home

"We think Ricky has hand foot and mouth,, please pick him up"

He did have it. I had it a few years back, it's a horrible virus, painful blisters in your mouth and on your feet/hands (fancy that). 

At least I had a morning off. I'm all ready for summer, just in time for the sun to vanish.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Lucy, she's here to help*

The soles of my feet look as though I've hacked at the hard skin with a cheese grater. My back, if it could talk, would be saying "why did you make me lift 3 tons of rubble today?". My hands feel like Velcro.

I fell asleep this evening between the hours of  8pm and 10pm, never a good slot for an impromptu nap.

"I'll help you strip some walls, Charmaine". That had been a very genuine offer to my running partner and school friend last week. Having finally sold her cramped house, Charmaine is now faced with the task of gutting and renovating her new house, as quickly as possible. 

I assumed her new house was on Berw Road (pronounced 'Ber - roo'). Whenever it was discussed, Berw Road was mentioned.

"I'll see you over there Luce, I've got to rush back to meet the skip man"

I was slightly late getting the boys to school, we walked. Sonny insisted on climbing every wall on the way, and there were various heated debates over who should press the button for the green man (at all FOUR crossings).

I had hoped Charmaine would accompany me on the walk to her new house. Directions were shouted to me over the school wall. "Police station side, Berw Road, you can't miss it".

I walked almost a mile out of my way. Thank goodness for mobile phones. The new house is BEHIND Berw Road. I also received a text from my friend Rosa asking if I could  look after her daughter, I felt awful saying no.

I changed into 'work clothes' (it's been a while) and found myself in labourer mode for a couple of hours.
We lugged huge pieces of wood, smashed up a bath, snapped, sawed, heaved, lobbed, and dragged all manner of detritus into the skip.

It was getting hotter, and with no running water, we were forced to work without a toilet or refreshment break.

I soon realised some of the rubbish destined for the skip, would fit in the car and could be taken to the tip  instead. I offered to drive there in Charmaine's  sister's (tiny) car.

Bags stuffed into the car, just enough room for the driver. Off I went. I've been to the tip loads of times. This time, I couldn't find it.
Happens to me a LOT.

"Hmm", I thought. "I can't go back with all this stuff". I dumped it at my house to save the embarrassment of explaining myself.
"Rob will have to take it".

Annoyed once again at my poor navigational skills, back to the house I went.
Another hour of manual labour, lots of dry-heaving from Charmaine upon discovering soiled underpants, washing-up bowls housing thick pools of dark green fetid slime, and myriad molluscs, worms and spiders.

There was slight sadness too - the old lady who had lived at this house before dying two years ago had children - why couldn't they be bothered to clear her home?. Holiday snaps, toys, clothes, all manner of possessions -  just left for a stranger to discard.

Soon after midday, I was most relived to hear Charmaine suggest we 'call it a day'. I had to fit in having a bath (no shower in my house) cooking dinner, and organising snacks, gym kits and drinks for the boys' Monday evening gymnastics class.

I hobbled the 15 minute walk home, pulsating blisters smarting. I took a route along a street which has numerous solicitors offices, the Citizen's Advice Bureau, housing charity offices and leads to the bus station. The worst examples of human nature can be found along this road, rather like a zombie-apocalypse catwalk.

A couple zig-zagged towards me.  Underweight, yellow-toned skin, vacant, staring eyes. They were arguing over who had the most tobacco in their rolled-up cigarette. I wonder if they went on to argue about the green man?

A girl approached me, pink hoodie with a light sheen of grime, off-white tracksuit bottoms, trainers and the expression of  someone severely constipated.

"'scuse me love, can you lend me a quid? I need £4.50 to get to Aberdare, I only got £3.50"

I felt sorry for her. She looked around 18, and her teeth looked 118 - as though they'd been daubed with a coat of mahogany varnish, and etched with a pointed tool in a freestyle fashion.

I gave her £!, and, rather patronisingly, said "you should say please when you ask someone a favour".

I resisted the urge to say "I want it back, with interest!" and "It's not can you lend me, it's could I borrow"

I came home to a house full of someone else's junk, and slumped.

 Gymnastics class was chaos - the waiting room is tiny, boiling hot, and packed with parents, older siblings, tired babies, people eating smelly food and people talking too  loud. This is where I feel most sympathy for children with Autism who are noise-sensitive, I cannot bear the sensory overload, so goodness knows how they feel.

Anyone else need a favour?

Please, don't ask me

*title taken from a film I like - "Harry, he's here to help"

Sunday, 20 May 2012


I have made many a light-hearted jibe about Christianity  (or religion in general) on this blog.
I cannot bring myself, though, to say I'm an Atheist.. Mainly because I'm under-educated.

I choose not to read books which suggest the Bible is full of shit, because any book can be full of shit, including a book suggesting the Bible is full of shit (and I'm guessing that the enlightened among you are thinking that makes me highly ignorant for saying that, and you'd be right).

When I was around 12 years old, I went through what must have been a pre-teen crisis. I decided to seek out attention in a variety of ways, one of which was to be baptised. My mother purposely chose not to have my brother or me Christened as babies.

Anther attention-seeking activity included spraying my hair with 2 bottles of Sun-In (peroxide) turning it a rusty-iron colour. Team that hair colour with a giant blue shirt belonging to my dad, a marker-pen thick slick of eyeliner, and a very tight, very long black skirt, and I'm ready for my school photo.

The baptism was an anti-climax. Bible study classes were boring, and any questions I asked the vicar were answered with "read the Bible - you'll find all the answers".

I did read the Bible, it's a good read, I wrote down a lot of the quotes and still have the book. Alongside crude drawings of  dresses I had designed, are quotes like "I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you".
I suppose a lot of what appealed to me at the time centred around 'love'. I've yet to meet an Atheist who believes love doesn't exist (outside the survival of the human race realm).

Sitting on the fence with regards to religion is not something I'm proud about. Having said that, I struggle to commit to anything because I challenge every fleeting thought, suggestion by others, idea, action, feeling....

Get a group of people together in any setting, and a loud-mouth control freak with an army of followers, a rebel, and a quiet outsider will emerge.

In the workplace, there will always be someone who talks a good game, captivates everyone, but does very little else. What motivates people to shy away or follow?

Religion aside, I found this video interesting. If you can bear to spare ten minutes, I know that is a MASSIVE amount of time in internet terms. Maybe like a six hour shift at a components factory with no toilet break

Deep question, perhaps...but, what motivates you to perform well?


I would put my motivtion down to a quest to find 'the answer' and I know I'll never find it. Even though I don't doubt for a second that the answer is 42. yes,  Sarah - you said it best.

Who judges whether or not we perform well?  Think about those clever little bankers....

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

And NOTHING Happened

The clock ticks are all I hear.
Boys all upstairs, Rob asleep on the sofa ( he's poorly). I've just finished my dinner, some of it landed on Liam's hoodie, I was cold, so put it on straight from the washing line - back in the wash basket it'll go tonight.

Twilight, between daylight and darkness, I've yet to switch on the lamps. My eyes itch, pollen and mascara falling out with each other. I still have my shoes on, I'll keep them on because the bathroom floor is still wet and I hate soggy socks. 

I'm thinking about the robbery which took place at the corner shop last night. The shopkeeper was forced to hand over cash at knife point, a second robber was brandishing a hammer. I'm also thinking about my greasy hair, I  feel about as attractive as Olive from On The Buses lately.

Olive, that's me, that is

The living room was just bathed  a lime-green glow, as if a filter had been put on a giant torch.  Quite soothing. I wonder if I'll ever have a 'sitting room' or a 'drawing room'. Standing only in this room, I'm afraid, and don't even THINK about doodling in any of my rooms. Lounge is an awful word, just like 'turbo' and 'greet'. I overheard a lady in IKEA say that she wanted a "chayze LOUNGE" once. I never wet back to IKEA.

I'm off now, I was so very bored. I typed loads of stuff and deleted it. Too personal.

Sometimes you spend all day looking forward to some peace and quiet, and when you get it, it deafens you.

Has anybody got anything interesting to share!?

Friday, 11 May 2012

In defence of daytime TV

I have a confession to make. During the wet, cold miserably grey days this past fortnight, I have succumbed to the horror of daytime TV. 
For 3 days each week, I looked after my niece and left the TV on from The Jeremy Kyle Show, through to This Morning and then, horror of horrors Loose Women. 

For those not familiar with these shows (don't live in Britain; too educated/middle class/got better things to do [like, work]) I'll try to briefly explain the formats of these shows...

The Jeremy Kyle Show - short-arsed former gambling addict, Kyle, uses his narcissism and overblown self-righteousness to deride, ridicule, anger and embarrass unfortunate people. 
Kyle's guests are usually unemployed, young, have poor communication skills and zero self-esteem. 

This Morning - 'national-treasure' Philip Schofield and 'the girl everyone wants to be' Holly Willoughby,  pretend to be interested in a variety of has-beens/minor celebrities' latest book or project (I'm looking at you, Denise Van Outen and Terry Wogan). 

They talk about the soaps, taste a meal cooked by a celebrity chef (it's always 'gorgeous' or 'amazing') and a fashion expert will host a feature on this season's MUST HAVE dresses/shoes.
"This costs just fifty-two nine-nine". 
What's wrong with 'ninety-nine?'

Loose Women - OK, my blog name is a take on the phrase - I apologise.
 Four women off the telly discuss topical news items, let minor celebrity guests promote things, and offer  'hilarious' insights into life. 

The four women 'celebrity' hosts will invariably be very sarcastic about men, look past their best, and are inexperienced regarding the topics they discuss. Like Kyle, they'll be brimming with a sense of self-importance:

"I'd NEVER choose drugs over my kids"

Maybe, but you'd get your jugs out on a low budget reality show in a pool with a bloke half your age?

Why watch them then? Er, I don't really know...

...I was moved to tears by one story on Jeremy Kyle. Two men met online and got very close over a period of a year. 
They met, fell madly and deeply in love (they lived quite a distance from each other) and formed a relationship.

It turned out they were half brothers. The heartbreak, shock and devastation was clear to see:

On This Morning I was fascinated by Tourette's sufferer Jess Thom.

Excuse the Daily Mail Link but you can hear her Radio 4 interview (and the obvious Tourette's symptoms) by clicking on it. 

Her website brilliantly celebrates Tourette's Syndrome.

I loved her self-depreciating humour and positive outlook. Despite continuously punching herself in the chest and saying 'biscuit' at least twice in every sentence, she's engaging and articulate (unlike Kyle's usual guests).

Highlights of Loose Women? 

Realising there's still a bit of time to enjoy myself before becoming an over-eye shadowed embittered thrice-divorced whining boiler (finger's crossed).

Friday, 4 May 2012

Grammar School

Friday, I remember when Fridays meant the working week was over.The week doesn't really have a beginning or end these days. Mondays and Fridays are 'free'  (between 9 and 3) but I usually have to fit in shopping, ironing cleaning and crap things like that on those days.

Today, I joined 3 friends (Helen, Meryem and Gail)  for lunch at Wetherspoons (pub chain). I have a sinus and chest infection, and didn't want to go. It's so dark in there, and the food isn't worth bothering with, if you ask me. I'm happy to just drink tea.
When we arrived, I was overcome by fresh paint fumes, it reeked and tightened my chest further.

The customers were either ageing chaps with mild to severe alcohol dependency and a penchant for sportswear   teamed with Elizabeth Duke jewellery, or young ladies with babies and bloated toddlers.

One baby looked as though he'd been born that morning, smaller than any of my children were at birth. The mother sat texting and knocking back pints of coke, rocking the pram with her foot every time the baby whimpered.

I enjoyed the conversation, we discussed the decline of literacy skills in today's youth.Keshling shared her thoughts on the matter recently too.

Last year, Gail set up a project to help high school students improve their writing skills, and is now employed by the education department to deliver the scheme.

It appears that lot of teachers no longer demand proper use of grammar and punctuation. I'm not sure where I stand,  but I do get irritated by this kind of thing (it's not very clear, but there's an apostrophe after every word; Banana's Potatoe's etc) :

Lucy Stare's at Clare's Pear's 

Poor grammar is unacceptable when its on show to the general public.Definitely. Poor spelling doesn't bother me too much, unless the wrong word is used 'their' instead of 'they're' for example. 
I refuse to get hung up on poor spelling, punctuation and grammar because my basic arithmetic skills leave a lot to be desired. Both my mum and oldest son struggle with spelling, but both have excellent mental arithmetic skills. Maybe our brains are faulty on opposing sides.

At the bar in Wetherspoons, a horrible man who knows my parents approached me. I only know he's horrible because an ex-partner of his told my mother she'd been dragged around the room by her pubic hair by him during one of his violent rages. Appalling.

 'Charm' personified, he touched my arm (urgh) and asked lots of questions. I felt like swatting him away like a fly. As a parting shot, he asked about a mutual friend of my dad and his - 

"I haven't seen him in ages, I've had a few textses off him though" he said.


How do you spell a word that doesn't exist. Maybe if you're going to be a bit over-zealous with apostrophes, you should be using them in speech. "I've been to Marks's for my trifle. We'll have a few wine's later and watch Eastender's"

One of my best friends, Rosa, is responsible for sending me the most hilarious text messages. Though she cannot spell or punctuate to save her life, her typed messages to me perfectly convey the chaos and drama which her life is always filled with.   

"My father lost his teeth in ponty he dunno if he took them out to eat his fish or if he never put them in at house. I'm runnin round town lookin for teeth and I gotta go to the hospital to see my friend who broke her leg. Some fuckin weekend I'm avin. Ow are you luv?"

I love it because that's how she speaks, it's instantly recognisable. 

My mother sends quite long text messages now, things like "what are you doing today?". When she first started texting, it was mainly to let me know where she was with Liam when I was leaving work. They would be one of the following:


Not as good as my friend's father, who didn't know how to put spaces in text messages:


My text messages frustrate some people because they're so long-winded. I don't abbreviate anything, use loads of brackets and dashes (like my blog posts) and often forget to add the obligatory 'kiss' at the end.

I can't think of Rosa without remembering the funniest (in my opinion) insult EVER.

Rosa has a real love-hate relationship with her older sister, and they're both very glamorous. 
About 12 years ago, Rosa went to Ibiza with a friend, spent the week drinking and eating, and had put on a tiny bit of weight. She didn't have a boyfriend at the time, and had a very deep tan. During an argument with Rosa about a stretched t-shirt, Tina exclaimed "Fuck off you fat orange LESBIAN".

All texts to Rosa start with "how are you, my fat orange lesbian friend?".

Her husband has tired of the joke.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Feel free to try and top that insult, and point out my errors.