November 30, 2004

It's all gone thong 

I was having a bad morning. Being woken up by two screaming kids at 6.30 in the morning is never the best start to a day. I had a bit of a hangover because Bruce, Pam and I had polished off a couple of beers when they'd got back.

Relishing the idea of a long hot bath when I got home, I decided against having a shower at theirs. Instead, I pulled on my clothes, grabbed a cuppa and headed out to catch the train back into London.

It was about nine o'clock by the time I got to the station. Rush hour was tailing off but the trains were still pretty crowded and I didn't get a seat.

Once I'd found a suitable place to lean against I reached into my hand bag and grabbed my Diskman. I pulled the actual player out first and then started tugging at the headphones that were snagged on something. Frustrated, I gave them a good pull and out they flew with a ping. The man next to me stifled a chuckle and I turned to see what he was laughing at. He smiled at me and then nodded to the headphones hanging out of my hand.

There, dangling from the earpeices for the whole carriage to see, was the black pair of knickers I'd taken with me in case I needed a change of clothes.

I could only imagine what the guy was going to tell his colleagues when he got to work:

"Hey Dave, you'll never guess what happened on the way in this morning. This bird showed me her g-string on the train..."



November 27, 2004

Please, can I have my sister back? 

I've lost my sister!

Not in the sense that I don't know where she is, because the likelihood that she's on the eMac as you read this is very high! You see, I've lost her to i-tunes. It has pulled her in, sapped her soul, and now she's a manic, track-downloading, music head.

No CD is safe. In the space of two days she has downloaded her entire CD collection, blitzed her way through mine and is starting on Dutchie's next.

She stayed in last night. She said she was going to watch a video but that is just the classic cover-up behaviour of an addict. I'm sure she spent her evening creating one play-list after another.

Come back to me sis. Reach out, and I'll help you through this.


November 25, 2004

The Devil in Disguise 

“DADDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”, came the shriek from the three-year-old ginger banshee. The clock display read 5.50 am.

“Fucks sake,” I muttered as I turned over on my makeshift bed. “This is the last fucking time I’m babysitting for Bruce and Pam.”

I heard Bruce stumble across the landing upstairs to attend to his son as I slowly drifted back to sleep.

A mere 3 seconds later (or so it seemed) I was woken by what sounded like the Tasmanian Devil attempting to break through the living room door to where I was sleeping.


I gingerly opened the door and there he was, a vision in gingham, his halo of ginger hair back lit by the light coming through the hall window.

The child of Satan.

“Wot oo doin’?” he asked in his butter-wouldn’t-melt voice. I glanced at the clock. 6.30am.

“Sleeping,” I croaked. “More to the point, what are you doing?”

He pointed to the corner of the room where the outlines of the TV and DVD player were barely visible in the dark.

“Awwy Pother. Tellyvithhon.”

“Well, Roger, I’m still sleeping so the telly will have to wait until later. Is that okay?”


“Good, I’m going back to bed now.”

“Sthleep well,” he smiled innocently as he closed the door behind him.

“That was easy,” I mused, thinking back to the racket he'd made the night before when I'd tried to put him to bed. “I guess he's quite a cutie, really.”

And with that, I dozed comfortably until I overheard a whispered conversation between roger and his older brother. Deep down I’d known it had been too good to be true.

“Dak!” Jack ignored him at first.

“Dak! Dak!”

“What?” replied his too-cool-for-school brother.

“Jonezy’s sthleeping in the living woom.”

“So,” replied seven-year-old Jack, attempting nonchalance.

“’Leths go thay hello.”


“Coth we can thickle her.”

“Oh yeah!” Apparently Jack thought this was a great idea as I heard him spring into action. “But I’m going first! I'm the Oldest!”

And with that declaration came a tornado of activity as the pair bombed it down the stairs, crashed into the living room and dived headlong onto my stomach.

“TICKLE, TICKLE, TICKLE,” they screeched as they jabbed me in the ribs, walloped me in the stomach and thumped me round the head. “THICKLE, THICKLE, THICKLE.”

Bruce’s head appeared round the door.

“Tea darl’?” he asked, apologetically.

“Please,” I gasped from under his hyperactive children. “Make it a strong one!”


November 24, 2004

Procrastination and Denial 

I woke up this morning feeling a touch despondent. My temp job at Hell Events is over and I've finished the only freelance project I've had on the cards. I checked my email for a sign of some work. Nada! I called my temping agents to gently remind them that I'm available. Nothing! The realisation that funds coming into my bank account aren't going to cover my mortgage repayment next week had slowly dawned on me by lunchtime.

Feeling the panic swirl in my stomach, the dread grip my heart and the doubt prey on my brain, I did what any self-respected, driven, professional freelance writer and marketing consultant would do. I watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.



November 23, 2004

A matter of taste 

“What’s this?” I asked as she slopped a ladle of brick-red gloop over the rice on my plate.

“It’s vegetable curry,” replied my mum, brightly. “I got the recipe from Cranks Vegetarian Cookbook. Your uncle sent it me.”

I sneaked a look over at my sister who was finding it hard to hide her disgust.

“Very nice, dear”, said my dad as he spooned some into his mouth. I knew he was lying, though. I could see it behind his eyes.

I tasted a bit.

“It’s not very hot, is it?”

“No, I don’t like hot food,” explained mum, “so I left out the chillies.”

“I see. Not very spicy either.” I lifted up a forkful and let it drop back onto the plate.

“Ah, no, it probably isn’t. I don’t like all those Indian spices and so I left them out too. Apart from that, I followed the recipe word for word.”

“No spices? Not even coriander seed?”

“Of course not! I wasn’t going to splash out on a jar of that just for one dish. What a waste!”

“So, apart from vegetables, what flavours are in it?”

“Some salt and a clove of garlic.”

“Let me get this right. You didn’t put any chillies in, and you left out all the spices. Well, that means it’s not really a curry, is it?”

“Of course it’s a curry,” she retorted indignantly.

“What makes it a curry? There are no spices or chillies? What you’ve actually made is a ratatouille.”

“It’s a curry,” she said though gritted teeth. I could tell she was getting angry but the teenager in me wouldn’t let it go.

“How can you call this a curry? It’s more like vegetable stew!”

“Yoghurt!” she declared. “I stirred in some yoghurt ! You don’t stir yoghurt into stew!”

The table fell quiet apart from the sound of food being pushed reluctantly round plates.

“So, do you like it?” she asked expectantly.

“Delicious” “Lovely” “Nice” came the muted responses

“Great, because I made enough to feed an army. Who’s for seconds?”


November 22, 2004

The Day of Rest 

I was suffering from cabin fever and longing for some peace and quiet. Six of us in a three-bedroom flat for four days will generally rule that out. I needed a distraction.

“Mum, fancy watching a DVD? Dad brought Alfie with him and I’ve never seen it”.

“Oooh yes,” she replied, “Let’s watch a DVD. MAGDA!" She called out to her best friend who was reading in the kitchen, "SHALL WE WATCH A DVD WITH JONESY?”

“OOOH YES,” Magda called back. “I'LL JUST PUT THE KETTLE ON!”


“No, sorry,” came the quiet reply from Jezebel’s bedroom. Jezebel, I suspected, was suffering from cabin fever too!

“Do you want to watch a DVD with us? Your father brought Alfie with him,” asked mum going into Jezebel’s bedroom.

“No thanks mum. I’m having a lie-down.”

“JEZEBEL’S HAVING A LIE-DOWN!” mum called out across the flat. “SHE’S NOT GOING TO WATCH A DVD WITH US!”


“YES PLEASE,” I called back, slightly overwhelmed by all the shouting. I went to set up the DVD in the living room where Dutchie was relaxing on the sofa reading the paper.

“Hey you. Sorry about all the racket. Would you mind if we came in to watch a DVD? We’re watching Alfie. The original version.”

“Not at all. I haven’t seen it myself!”

“Great,” I said as I switched on the telly.

“DOES DUTCHIE WANT TEA?” called Magda from the kitchen.

“Yes please,” answered Dutchie. “No milk, thanks!”


“NO, SHE HAS IT BLACK, NO SUGAR,” I shouted back, smiling at Dutchie. “ARE YOU READY MUM?”




"TEA'S UP,” shouted Magda, handing cups out from the kitchen. Jezebel followed her in.

“I think I’ll watch the DVD after all.”

“Cool,” I replied.

Mum settled herself down on the sofa. “Jonesy, darling. Could you pass me my knitting bag? It’s under the coffee table.”

I handed it over and Dutchie moved along the sofa to make room for Magda. I grabbed the armchair and Jezebel settled down with some cushions on the floor.

“Everyone okay?” I asked.





I turned off the light, pressed play and breathed a quiet sigh of relief.



November 16, 2004

Do they know it’s Christmas? 

Well actually, no they don't. Because it isn't Christmas!!!! It's November and last time I checked, Christmas happens towards the end of December. I realise that Bob and Midge meant it more as a rhetorical question and, their cause being a noble one, they can be forgiven for jumping the gun a bit, but for fuck's sake Christmas is AGES away!

Perhaps I’d be able to stomach six weeks of “It's Christmas time there's no need to be afraid?” if it weren’t for the mass marketing of Yuletide everywhere I look. Four weeks ago, making it some time in MID OCTOBER, I saw a Special Christmas offer at Sainsbury's:

Buy your mince pies seven years early and get a 99p bottle of supersaver mulled wine FREE!!

The Christmas lights are up, radio and television stations are saturated with Christmas commercials and people at the office keep saying things like, “Oooh, thank God Christmas is just around the corner” as they rub their hands together before they go and get a cup of hot vomit from the drinks machine.

At this rate today’s children will grow up thinking that Christmas is a three-month celebration and not just one special day when the nation downs tools to spend time with family and friends.

I ask you: where has the magic gone?


November 14, 2004

Big girls don’t cry 

I lay motionless on the sofa, my throat aching from fighting back the sobs welling up in my chest. I looked over at my sister. She was crying too. I squeezed her hand and she squeezed back. The tears fell silently down both our faces.

And then Brother Bear finished and we got up to make a cup of tea.


November 11, 2004


My mother's father died in the second world war. He was allowed only a few weeks with his new bride before he was called back to fight. He died whilst liberating a group of Canadian Soldiers from a Prisoner of War camp. His grave is on the Greek Island of Crete in a field covered by an endless sea of stone crosses. I don't know any more than that; my mother doesn't talk about it much.

He died before he could find out that his wife was expecting a baby. He never knew he would father a daughter who would one day have three children of her own. Along with countless other women of that generation, my grandmother became a widow before she became a mother.

Today is the eleventh of November, a day when many British people wear a poppy in memory of all the service men and women who lost their lives. This day always touches me. Wherever I am I try and find a quiet place at on the eleventh hour to respect the two minutes of silence that people hold across the country. My thoughts always come back to the same thing. I wonder at the loss of life on such a scale and I can't understand how, so many years later, mankind can still be at war. The second world war: the war to end all wars, and yet needless bloodshed continues the world over.

I don't understand it and I hope I never will.


November 09, 2004

The Common Cold 

Well, just what the fuck is all this about then? This isn't a cold! No siree! This appears to be a one-way ticket to Snot Central. Some fucker poured a bucket full of mucus into my head when I wasn't looking and now all I can do is mope around until it has oozed its merry way out via my nose, eyes, ears and, at this rate, my hair follicles.

Nice image, no? Well, come on, we all know how utterly digusting colds are. That sludgy feeling in your head, the eyes that stream, the crusty nostrils. Not to mention the horrible taste in your mouth and the restless sleep.

But THIS cold? THIS cold is unlike any I've ever had. In one hour I got through a whole box of Kleenex, and no matter how much ultra-balm they say they put on their tissues, my nose has taken a damn good pasting. Seriously! If London had a black-out, you'd be able to see my nose from Mars!

And, Sweet Jesus, the sneezing. They say that one sneeze is an eighth of an orgasm. If that's the case I've been on the multiples for the last 36 hours, and they certainly aren't as fun as they look on Sex and the City!

I was sat on the bus today and my ear actually made a squeaking sound as it finally, after ten godforsaken hours, unblocked. I'm sure the woman next to me heard it. I mean why else would she have got up and sat at the other end of the top-deck!

Well anyway my dears, that's enough about snot, sneezing, mucus, bogies and phlegm. Anyone fancy a snog?


November 08, 2004

All I can manage today are the following five words:

"I have a bastard cold."

Thank you and goodnight.



November 06, 2004

Mr Period, The Prankster 

Discovering that you’ve got your period feels a little bit like putting the kettle on after a trip to the supermarket only to realise that you've forgotten the milk. On the flip side, when it’s over you can remove the period paraphernalia from your handbag and get your best knickers out again, which I suppose is quite nice really.

I’ve been getting my period for about fifteen years now and I have, on average, about twelve periods a year. Doing the maths this means I’ve had about 180 periods so far in my lifetime and so you would think I’d have learned my lesson by now.

You see Mr Period likes to play a little trick on me, one that I always fall for. Mr Period hides himself away after about four days, pretending to be finished only to return about 24 hours later to catch me completely off my guard. In my book, that constitutes bad manners and is just not cricket!!!

NB: This is obviously one for the girls but I’m hoping my metrosexual readership will be able to cope with the topic of menstruation for one day.


November 04, 2004

Faux Pas 

"Fuck it," I thought. I was feeling sexy despite the facial hair and the super-sized aviator glasses. "He's cute and I've got nothing to lose."

I turned to the bar and wrote my name and number on a peice of paper with a note asking him out for a drink.

"Here," I said with a cheeky smile as I put the note into his shirt pocket. "Read that later. Oh, and thanks for the beer." I held his gaze for a couple of seconds and then walked off to join my mate, Girl From Mars.

"So you've met John then." Said Girl From Mars as I sat down opposite her.

"The Kiwi guy? Yep. He's really nice," I replied, lighting a cigarette.

"Yeah, he's lovely. I'm really pleased he came with me tonight and I think we're going to go out on a date next week."



November 02, 2004

Pictures speak louder than words.  Posted by Hello

November 01, 2004

Round round baby round round 


Things seem to be getting a bit hectic these days. I've been meaning to tell you about the bathroom I'm having built, about my day out in B&Q with John the Carpenter, a gun-loving, vegetarian Bill Bailey lookalike and about how I dressed up as one of the Village people on Saturday night (the glorious shame!) but I've been rushing around like a blue-arsed fly and only have these three minutes to pop along and say hi!

So hi! And then bye!

I'll be back very soon. In the meantime go and visit Frieda who's blogsitting for my sister while she's away on tour.


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