Sunday, 23 November 2014

At 50 .... 50 Things I Don't Understand

I thought with age would come wisdom, but with a whole half century staring me square in the face I admit there are still some things I'll never understand, however many years I live ...


50 Things I Don't Understand

.....At 50 



1: Shower gel.

2: How the wine is always gone.

3: Trigonometry.

Please sir,
 can I have some hair straighteners
4: Why curly haired girls want straight hair and straight haired girls want curls.

5: The purpose of thongs.

6: How to do the Hokey Cokey without falling over one's own feet.

7: The correct spacing when writing down mobile phone numbers.

8: The popularity of Kim Kardashian's bottom.

9: How slugs mate. And why they would want to.

10: Why fast food is never quick enough.

11: Why most people who wear sportswear do it for leisure.

12: How eggs work.

13: The Daily Mail.

14: Where dust goes when you've dusted it.

15: People who don't appreciate Tom Jones.

16: Chewing gum.

17: Why Ian Gillan doesn't have a knighthood....

18: ...or David Beckham.

19: How to make the perfect meringue.

20: Why anyone would EVER need a wine stopper.

21: Mrs Brown's Boys.

22: Local government planning regulations.

23: Litter louts

24: Bad losers

25: Religious Fanatics.

26: Fanatics.

27: Religion.

28: Miley Cyrus.

29: Where Ben Elton went.

30: How to cast on knitting.

31: What the spleen does.

32: How to drive.

33: What you're supposed to do with all the teeth when you're the Tooth Fairy .

34: Why people would trust a politician.

35: Why my life isn't like a musical.

36: The correct oven temperature for Yorkshire Pudding.

37: Non alcoholic alcohol.

38: Men.

39: Fake tan.

40: Where all the single socks go.

41: Why sliced bread is previously the best thing, always.

42: The inner workings of the flushable toilet.

43: How Paul McCartney's hair colourist gets away with it.

44: Jazz.

45: Couscous.

46: The Pentatonic scale.

48:  Eyelash curlers.

49: Why anyone would voluntarily wear a paisley patterned anything.

And

50: Life. Mostly.


*Sighs*




Friday, 21 November 2014

The F Word ...

In less than a week's time I will be 50 years old..... 50 ..... years..... old! 

That's a total of 18, 262 days or 438,291 hours or 26,298,000 minutes that I've spent on the planet..... only a third of which made some kind of sense at the time.

I am not, to be perfectly frank, entirely prepared to be an actual, whole, 50 years old. Even though I've known it's been coming since ... well... since I was 49. 

I did write, in a futile attempt at some level of acceptance, a bucket list of things to do before the big day as well as a list of things not to do. And I absolutely achieved everything I set out to do on one of those lists.....though I did have to reinstall iTunes. Obvs.

But otherwise, I'm in denial: the mulishly stubborn, kicking and screaming and quite a lot of sulking kind of denial that involves regularly drowning myself in a vat of gin and sticking one's fingers in one's ears and going LA LA LA when anyone says the F word. Any F word at all, just to be on the safe side.

Still, unless I discover the secret of eternal youth or a time machine within the next few days, which is unlikely admittedly, I will be f..f...f..ing fifty years old, like it or not.

F....f.......uck.



I suspect I'm not going to be very good at it.....




Monday, 17 November 2014

How Not to Date Women and How

Last week I wrote about the inane Dapper Laughs and his sordid approach to dating advice. This week, a petition to ban the Swiss-born American and self-acclaimed pick up artist, Julien Blanc from hosting his dating advice seminars in the UK has topped over 150,000 signatures. So far.

Like Dapper Laughs but without the excuse of being a created character, Julien Blanc calls himself "an international leader in dating advice"and can charge up to £2,000 for a "seduction class" where he "advises" grabbing women by the throat, isolating them from their friends, killing their pets, making threats, harassment and abuse as part of a winning seduction technique.


Sunday, 16 November 2014

Penguins: The Dangers .... or What John Lewis Won't Tell You ....

I am the mother of a boy who is, like the boy in the John Lewis Christmas ad, similarly in love with his penguin.

The penguin that I bought him (at half price in WH Smith's, since you're asking) for the Christmas when he was just 20 months old.....

The Boy and his first penguin


The Boy loved that penguin from the very first.

He named the penguin, with all the finesse of a one-year-old unable to pronounce the word penguin, Pen Pen and from that day everywhere that The Boy went, Pen Pen was sure to go as well ... regardless of Pen Pen's sizeable bulk and obvious penguiness.

The Boy loved Pen Pen so very much that the next Christmas, Santa *cough* in his wisdom thought it would be a really cute idea to present The Boy and Pen Pen with another penguin.

So, duly, on Christmas morning, in a gaily penguin-paper wrapped parcel, addressed jointly to Pen Pen and The Boy, there lay another, slightly smaller, penguin.

And perhaps it should have ended there, just like in the John Lewis ad, with Pen Pen and his new companion Pen waddling off into the sunset and The Boy, still just two and with a walk just as waddling as a penguin's, beside them both.

Perhaps...

But the way of the penguin is a slippery slope and not always figuratively....





Needless to say, each and every successive Christmas (for which I still blame Santa *cough*) and sometimes for birthdays (which I can't *sighs*), The Boy has welcomed a new penguin to the fold until eventually, finally, for his last birthday, his eighth, he got an actual, real-live penguin.....


The Boy and his WWF penguin
Not the actual, real live penguin..
Or at least we adopted an Adelie penguin through the World Wildlife Fund. We did get yet another furry penguin addition to the family for doing so though, for which space had to be found in an already over-penguined bed.

And now another Christmas approaches. The Boy, nearly nine, the proud owner of a myriad different penguins and one real one isn't really going to expect another penguin, is he? Is he?

Er, yes. Apparently.

And this one better not only be real, it should move in.

So thank you John Lewis. Well played.

*rolls eyes*

*Googles Penguins at Home*



All The Boy's toy penguin collection
Penguin family members who could be bothered to turn up for the photo shoot
 *rolls eyes*
*looks behind sofa*

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Gallery .... Yellow

I'm joining in with The Gallery this week and the theme is Yellow ...

One of the first colours ever made was yellow. Made from clay, the yellow ochre pigment was used in prehistoric cave art and a horse painted with the yellow pigment was drawn in the caves of Lascaux in the Dordogne, When it was discovered in 1940, it was estimated to be over 17,300 years old.

The sun has been setting the sky alight with all shades of yellow flames every sunset for even longer.

These are my Yellows ....


















Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Not Laughing

I was a teenager in the 70s when it wasn't uncommon for young women to be treated as little more than meat in a world that seemed almost exclusively catering for men. But even as builders hung off the scaffolding shouting "Show us your tits" to anything vaguely female and male drivers slowed for a good leer as they passed the girl's cross country team sweating their way back up the hill to school, women were breaking out of their moulds and becoming economically, socially and educationally free of history's traditional constraints.

Silent Sunday ...









Friday, 7 November 2014

The Wrong Pair of Tights ...

At 8.15 in the morning this week I had a phone call from The Teen's school.

Your daughter, said a cheerful lady called Jane, is wearing The Wrong Pair of Tights. Can you bring her, she added, a pair of the right tights?

I'm not a morning person I admit. It takes me at least two Peppa Pigs and a large cup of scaldingly hot tea before I can communicate with anybody in more than grunts, but I agreed to attend forthwith with The Right Pair of Tights. 

But, amidst my confusion, I lied. It was 8.15. I don't drive. The Teen's school was more than a mile away. The Boy was partially dressed, covered in toast crumbs and there was one more Peppa Pig to watch before he had to be taken in the opposite direction and I could even consider rescuing The Teen with a pair of the right tights......

Sunday, 2 November 2014

A Perspective on Whitby ...

Taking a holiday by the coast, in late October, in England, might sound like just the kind of hell on earth you need to get into the mood for Halloween. But not if you were, like us, spending half term in Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast.

We love Whitby. Since our honeymoon in 2005 (which we spent in Whitby, obviously), we have returned once or twice a year for either a weekend, a week or even longer, and whether it's October or August the weather does what it likes with little regard for the seasons. I always pack lots of jumpers and rainwear whatever time of year we visit, because I am English and a mother and can't help but pack for all eventualities.We rarely *crosses fingers* need them though, and this year was no exception, the end of October or not.

Silent Sunday ...






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