Saturday, 31 March 2012

panic in detroit

England is in the grip of petrol fever.

Apparently someone somewhere threatened to go on strike about something and that meant there was a chance that just maybe-possibly-potentially there might be a slight petrol shortage sometime in the not too distant future IF it happened. Although the people who had said they MIGHT go on strike had not given any idea of a date when that MIGHT be, and there were still some "talks" happening that would most likely resolve whatever the issue was.
Or to put it another way a Union decided to try and hold the government to ransom. I'm not entirely sure what it is they're after, it may well be quite justified, but ever since the days of the wicked witch Maggie Thatcher the Unions are no longer as powerful as they used to be.

But then someone must of told Dave (and we all know he's not the brightest star in the sky, especially as he has still not answered my letters so clearly still not seeing sense), and Dave decided to tell the British public via our everso reliable, totally honest and not-at-all-likely-to-whip-the-public-into-a-frenzied-panic-media that it might be a sensible idea if everyone kept their tanks topped up, or kept a spare can of petrol JUST IN CASE. 
And anyway we were told the army were on stand-by, and they would get the petrol to where it needed to be but the main thing was for everyone to NOT PANIC BUY.
Hmmm. . . 

Do I need to caption this ? Nah, already done for me.

Smart move.

Because for one thing England has had a week of freakishly hot weather for this time of year - so that sends us all a bit loopy anyway. A friend of mine was riding her bike along our seafront on Wednesday and she saw people swimming in the sea, and our sea here is fucking freezing even in the middle of summer. So yeah, people go a bit mental when they see the sun.

And also because if there's one thing we're good at it's panic buying.
And we don't seem to need much of a reason, an impending bank holiday will do it never mind an actual shortage. Nowadays all of the big supermarkets are open every day of the year, but go into one the day before a bank holiday and you will see people buying up enough food to see them through your average nuclear holocaust.

I don't think we ever got over the rationing during the war.
Or the power cuts and strikes that happened when I was a kid.
Certainly my parents generation never did and I guess some of them have passed that on to their children too, my Mum only had to hear the word strike and she'd be off to Tesco to buy 10 loaves of bread, 20 pints of milk and as much meat as she could fit in her freezer.
Even though there was only two people in her house, she rarely ate sandwiches, her husband drank black coffee and the strike was in a carpet factory at the other end of the country.

But anyway, thanks to Dave and his bunch of tossers government giving out the warning we now have queues at petrol stations from 6am every day and some are actually closed because they have run out completely.
In trying to beat the potential shortage that maybe-possibly-potentially could have happened the drivers of this country have actually made the thing they were trying to get prepared for happen.

A typical British day out in the sunshine.

And then this evening they announced that the proposed strike has been averted . . . for now. But there is something that only two people knew about until I wrote this and now you, dear sheep, are being let in on the secret.
All this is actually my fault.
And not because I have failed in my attempt at world domination valiant mission to get Dave to listen to me.

Oh no.
This is yet another example of the notorious Cowgirl jinx.

As you may remember I am not allowed for public safety reasons don't drive. Consequently I have no need to buy petrol. Ever.
But, I have a rather nasty persistent overgrown weed (not that kind of weed, yeah I fucking wish) growing in my garden. Every year I hack it down and spray it and every year the fucking awful thing comes back. I told a mate about it, as I was thinking I would have to pay some specialised service to come and get rid of it for me. He said that if I drill into the roots and pour some diesel in it's bound to kill it once and for all. I know it's not really allowed, bad for the environment blah blah blah, but it's not like I'm building a nuclear reactor in the shed (I'm not fucking french) and a can of diesel is about a fiver, compared to what it would cost to get someone in ? Yeah, I'm gonna try Steve's suggestion first.
My mate at work found a petrol can for me on Friday and said that she would get some for me during the week when she filled up her car so that I could do the garden this weekend while the weather is still nice.

She gave up every time she went because of the size of the queues.

And now not only are there the mile long queues at the garages that have still got fuel, they have now said that they are not letting anyone fill up spare petrol cans.

See ?
All my fault.
I really should run for Prime Minister, it seems I can fuck up the country just as much as Dave.

And all I need to do it is an empty one of these.

Sunday, 25 March 2012

five minutes

There is a question that is asked so often by English people that it could almost be our National catchphrase.

I hear it on the bus, on the train, in the shops, just everywhere and anywhere and so often that unless it is being said directly to me I tend to not even notice anymore. And I am a bit of an eavesdropper, I love it when I do that thing where you hear a little snippet, or catch the end of a conversation and it just sounds totally bizarre or completely wrong.

". . . and so I said that's far too big to fit in there, it doesn't matter how hard you push it's not going to fit. . . "
Said by a fella as he and his mate passed by me on the street. I laughed. Out loud.

But anyway, back to that question. I might not notice when it's being said to other people, but when it's aimed at me I only wish I could ignore it, the question being,
"Did you see Eastenders last night ?"
Of course there are variations of it.
"Wasn't Eastenders good last night"
"What do you think is going to happen to *insert name of dead/sick/criminal/missing/drug addict/alcoholic soap star*.
"Who do you think is the father of *insert name of slutty soap stars* baby".

I only have one answer for all of the above and any other variation.
"I don't watch Eastenders. Or any soap for that matter".
There have been times when saying those words has been met with more shock and disbelief then if I was to tell people that I used to be a man or that I was a serial killer. I've been told that I don't know what I'm missing (I do, I used to watch it), or that I MUST (is it compulsory now?).
But the people that really piss me off are the ones who presume that even though I don't watch the fucking stupid programme I still want to have the conversation they were trying to start when they asked me the question.
Then decide that in order to facilitate it they have to first fill me in on the entire background plot and who is related to/having an affair with/trying to kill who.

If I was interested I'd watch the fucking show.
And I do tell them that, but it doesn't shut them up. It's like Eastenders is their religion and they are the Jehovah's Witnesses come to convert me.
Sometimes when people are talking about it around me I can't help but listen in and it's as if they genuinely think the people in it are REAL. I suppose if you watch something three (or is it on four times ?) nights a week and then the repeat on a Sunday you might actually be spending more time with them then you do your real friends.
And I'm strange because I don't watch it ?

And if it's not enough that the TV schedules are full of soaps and their repeats our magazines and newspapers are full of the real life dramas and scandals concerning the actors in them. Or what disastrous outfit they wore to the supermarket, who has a spot on their face, who dyed their hair and who managed to lose some weight.

Unless it's my turn to have the five minutes of fame we're all supposed to get I refuse to buy into the cult of celebrity.

Last night was the return to TV of Freak Show Britains Got Talent, yet another show in which Joe Public can try and grasp his five minutes. That show I do watch, some of it is car crash telly at it's finest - watching people who think they have some special skill but really don't get ripped apart by Simon Smug Cowell is always entertaining. But you can pretty much guarantee that by the end of the series the press will have dug up some scandal about a few of the unsuspecting idiots who appear on it, and they will get their five minutes but not for what they hoped. It'll more likely be because they have three kids by different partners or stole a bar of chocolate from the corner shop when they were ten.
All of which will get blown out of all proportion.
As much as we love our non-entities celebrities we seem to like it even more when they fuck up.

And nothing grabs the public's attention more then a sex scandal.

The latest person to fall foul to this is Tulisa. I don't suppose any of you across the pond - or indeed all the UK readers - may even know who she is. But I bet there's a few more know of her since her ex decided to post a video of her giving him a not very good blow job all over the Internet. She was part of a pretty rubbish group, but became even more well known as last year she was one of the judges on X Factor.
I don't suppose she'll be invited back this year.
Unless Simon Smug Cowell decides to make XXX Factor. Although judging by the performance in the video I doubt she'll get through the audition stage.

Silly girl.
I already wrote a POST ages ago about my thoughts concerning home made porn, so I'm not about to repeat myself, but really why would someone who was aiming for fame and life in the public eye not realise that letting someone film you is likely to come back and bite you later on ?
Apparently she is now suing him for a hundred grand. Yeah good luck - if he had any money he wouldn't of needed to post the video - because you can bet that was his motivation.

She's now made a video apologising to her fans. I bet she's got a few more now too.
But she begins it by saying, before she even gets into how upsetting it's all been for her, that when she has something to say she has never been one for keeping her mouth shut.

Or thinking about what you're actually saying before you speak.

I just hope that the latest round of BGT hopefuls don't have any juicy skeletons lurking in their cupboards. But I'd be willing to bet it's not something they have even considered when they decide to get on TV and showcase their outstanding ability to balance a poodle on their head.

Friday, 23 March 2012

i wanted breast

Well I'm kind of glad this week is over, it's really not gone according to plan. Nothing major, just the usual round of calamity that seems to follow me around.
I swear I can hear it laughing sometimes.
After all the hectic activity of getting my house straight at the weekend ready for the expected visit from the language school on Monday, I got an email from them in the middle of the afternoon asking if they could come on Thursday instead.


But at the same time not so bad as I really didn't think it would look good to have them turn up and see an old sofa and other crap piled up at the front of the house, so at least I had time to arrange to have that taken away. I got on the phone and sorted it for Tuesday afternoon, which meant that I would be at work but hopefully Son would be in, so I told the fella I would check and call back to let him know.

"I have arranged for someone to come and collect the sofa and other stuff tomorrow between 11 and 1pm, are you going to be here ?"
"Ok, I will leave the money for you to pay him."
"I spoke to Grandad today and he wants some slippers and a CD for his birthday, so if you are going into town this week can you get them for me ?"
"Yeah sure, I can get them when I go to my appointment at the job agency."
"When is that ?"
"What time ?"
"So you're not going to be here when the fella comes for the sofa ?"
"What fella . . . . "


Nothing unusual there though, he's been tuning me out for years. That doesn't make it any less annoying, and it even happens when he's the one who asked the question in the first place. The following day he wanted some paint stripper, we don't have any but I suggested trying the brush cleaner I use for acrylic nails. I told him where it was and described the size and colour of the bottle.
Brown glass, about three inches high and it says BRUSH CLEANER on the label.

Ten minutes later he comes downstairs with these. . .

. . and said "is it one of these ?"


When I worked with kids a lot of the training we did revolved around listening skills. Psychologists believe that when we listen we only take in about 7% of what is being said through the actual words. Voice quality, that is the tone, accounts for 38% and the rest is all about the body language. When applied to difficult children one of the ways I used that knowledge was to make sure that in tricky situations, or when trying to make them understand something, that I remained still, relaxed and spoke in a calm even voice. By doing so you can lessen the impact of the non-verbal communication and increase the understanding of what is actually being said.

Even with some very challenging children that could work a treat.

What I can never understand is how those same techniques don't seem to work with Son. Probably because as little impact as the words might have if he doesn't actually hear them at all nothing registers. Next time he goes to find something in my room I'm going to draw him a diagram.

Mind you I'd need a sniffer dog and a safety helmet to find anything in his.

On Thursday I woke up late. If I'm a little bit late for work it's not normally a problem, I just stay a bit later. But yesterday my boss/friend was going out at 11 so I had to be there by then, and I also really needed to get away on time because the Langauge school were visiting at 6pm.
It takes me 10 minutes to walk to the train station and there's a train at 8 minutes past the hour, get that and get a cab when I get there I'll only be 30 minutes late. After I got dressed I checked the time and it was 9.45, I got my phone and my bag, put my coat on, checked again and it was 10.
Who the fuck stole ten minutes from me ?
(I wish I knew, because the sneaky bastard does it quite often. If I could find the fucker I might be able to steal it back. By my reckoning he's taken enough time in the last few months to equal at least an extra day on the week-end).
But anyway.
Never gonna make that train now unless I get a taxi from my house.
Which I do. And waste £3 because I got on the platform at 10.07.58 just in time to watch the train pull away. Every other day the fucking trains run late, and the day I'm the one that's late the fucker is not just on time it leaves the station a minute early.


And then, because I used all my cash on the first taxi I have to make the one I took when I got off the train stop at the shop so I can get more out. And OF COURSE there's a queue a mile long and only one cashier.


But I did manage to make it to work by 10.55, and as I am fortunate enough to work for a friend I was able to leave on time. I got a lift back to the station just as the train home was pulling in, put my ticket in the barrier and it refused to open. The guard came over and looked at it, and I had tried to use the out ticket not the return.
Which meant that when I bought it in the morning I had put the out ticket in my purse.
And thrown the return bit in the bin as I left the station.
Luckily he believed me and let me through. Although by then that train had gone and I had to wait for the next one so I made it home just before 6.
And the bloody visitors from the Language school didn't turn up.

One of my friends is a very spiritual person. She believes - I'm really not sure how to describe it properly but I guess the best way to explain it would be - in the power of the Universe. That we all draw things to ourselves and the Universe gives us what we need or deserve.
Personally I'm not too sure about that but I certainly believe in Karma.

Most of the little disasters that happen to me really don't amount to much on their own, but when I actually stop to think about how often they occur, and apply my friends ideas to them then I really just have to wonder what it was that I did to the Universe that makes it want to fuck me over on such a regular basis.

Even today it continues, I had the day off work so arranged for my shopping to be delivered late in the afternoon. Today is my Dads birthday and tomorrow I am cooking a meal for the family to celebrate, my plan was to make the curries tonight (we are having a Thai feast) but when I unpacked the shopping I had ordered the wrong chicken.
I wanted breast, I got breaded gougons.
I wonder if that's a sentence ever uttered by a disappointed man ?
In Thailand perhaps.

Luckily Son has his uses, and armed with a very detailed shopping list and a map of the route to the shop he was able to complete the mission to go and get the right kind for me.
I couldn't go because the lady from the Language school was due at 5pm, and this time she did turn up. Pictures were taken of my house (fucking good job I did the washing up) and hopefully I'll get a student soon.
The curries are now cooked and this . . .  is the dessert I made. . .

That is a chocolate and strawberry tart.
Just to prove that not everything I do is a total disaster.

Although I can't promise that it will still be in the fridge by the time my guests arrive tomorrow night.

Have a good week-end people !!

Saturday, 17 March 2012


I've had a few people say they are having problems with my blog.
So am I, some of the links - previous post and the comment form etc seem to be broken. However I think the comment form will work as long as you using the URL for the post and not the home page. As far as I can tell it is something to do with Blogger changing the URLs of blogs so they are geographically correct, I hope so. 
Because the other possibility is that I have finally managed to change my template so much that I have royally fucked it up. Anyway I'm going to wait a few days to see if it rights itself and if not then I guess I'll have to start again with the design.
Meanwhile if you do experience problems would you please let me know, either here or via Twitter or G+, there are links to my profiles on both in the sidebar.

In other more important news major panic descended on my house this morning.
On Thursday I posted an application form to be a host family for foreign language students, I have a spare room sat there sad and empty that could be occupied by a sexy young man earning me few quid, and a friend who already does this suggested the idea.
At the moment I'm in the middle of a few DIY projects, and that includes a few little jobs in said spare room.
Not least of all removing all the useful items crap I've stored in there.
But, I figured it'll take a while to get a student and I have a day off next Friday as I have to go somewhere in the morning, so I thought I could do it then as that's effectively a three day week-end. I also need a few things for the room - you have to provide bedding etc, but I'm watching some on ebay.

This morning I get an email "Hi Cowgirl, thanks very much for your application. At the moment we have students waiting for accommodation, so can we come and see the room Monday evening as we can provide you with a tenant straight away".

So much for the relaxing week-end I had planned.
I've spent the day doing that thing where you try and do ten jobs at once and just end up confused and knackered.
And tomorrow instead of sleeping until 3 a little lie in I have to go shopping for bedding, towels and a lamp. And I fucking hate shopping. They better send me a buff young man after all that.
And breathe.

Son has been getting in the way helping, well taking orders. But in the course of sorting the room out I was putting rubbish in a carrier bag, and we then decided to go downstairs for a coffee and fag break. When I went back up to the room I found this . . .

That is not what I call helping.

The students also have to have an evening meal provided.
Well you can just rent the room, but you don't get as much money, and I figured we have dinner every night anyway so I may as well. However the reality of this is just beginning to dawn on me.
I do like cooking, I love having people round for dinner and when I'm in the mood there are certain things I can manage to not incinerate do quite well.
When I first thought about doing this I suppose I imagined it would be like having a friend for dinner every night. Yeah. Right. The reality of that is I'd soon get fed up.
And while I say I can cook, I have six recipe books.
Five of which are about cooking with chocolate.
I hope the student likes pudding and cake.
And isn't on a diet.

Speaking of which I am very happy to report that I have now managed to lose 10lb.
And that is without going on a proper diet, I have just been walking to work from the train station a few times a week and not stuffing my face with chips and six chocolate bars every night trying to eat healthier. I don't plan to be turning this into a weight loss blog. Boring. But if I get to where I plan to, that is a couple of stone less, I might post a before and after picture. Just as an incentive for myself to stay that way, and maybe then I can post a non-photoshopped below the neck realistic picture on the dating site too.

I will leave you with a couple of pictures that were sent to me.
A friend of mine took the first one, she actually saw this in Tesco.

No amount of clubcard points could make me want to buy that.

And I really cannot believe that whoever wrote this outside a pub did not realise exactly how it could be interpreted.

I'm off, I have two tons of crap to put out with the rubbish before the cat gets his paws on them.
This really wasn't a post was it ? I just wanted to let you all know about the blog problems really, but I can never just get to the point.

But in case you came here hoping to read something interesting or funny I'm gonna do you a favour and suggest you go and read this. Funniest post I've seen in ages.

I hope your week end is more fun then mine is turning out to be.

ps Any HTML experts out there fancy designing me an all-singing all-dancing shiny new template ?

Update : Fed up with people saying they can't comment. I LOVE the comments so changed back to the old template and the links appear to work for me. I guess it was me caused the problem.
Who woulda thought ??
Note to self : Knowing how to read some code does not make you a programmer.  
Could a few of you please test them for me ? 

Thursday, 15 March 2012


The very lovely Janie Junebug is running a weekly series of guest posts on her blog on the subject of intimacy. She wants to know what that means to different people, and the posts so far have all been very interesting and diverse.

And now thanks to me the tone has been lowered to gutter level.

Unfortunately due to the nefarious Dr X and his concubines reading her blog she was forced to make it private a while ago, so as some of you will be unable to read it I am posting it here today as well. If you want to know more about Dr X, contribute to the series, or just read Janie - and this lady can write, then go to her profile and send her an email.
Everyone is welcome. . . . apart from he who shall not be named !


When Janie first asked me if I wanted to write a contribution to this topic it left me rather stumped.

Because she said it should be "a post about intimacy, not sex, real intimacy", and in my world you can't have one without the other.
The way my emotions are wired sex, love and intimacy are all sides of the same coin.

Well that's not entirely correct.
I can have sex without intimacy, have done, more times then I care to remember a few times.
But just not the other way round.

The saying goes the way to a mans heart is through his stomach, it's the same for me, except you need to reach my stomach via a different route.
I've had some great sex with men I wasn't in love with, but I've never fallen in love with anyone who wasn't giving me mind blowing, swinging from the chandeliers, how the fuck do I manage to get my legs in that position sex.

Don't misunderstand me, I know that when you find intimacy it becomes about more then sex. But I just can't get there without it, and I have experienced that feeling of being so in tune with someone that it's almost like you can read each others minds.
But for it to last that needs to translate itself to a man who can read my mind so I don't have to tell him when to speed it up or slow it down or flip me over.
That's how I REALLY know that somebody gets me.

Sometimes I wonder if I was really ever love, because as soon as the sex diminished I went off the man pretty damn quick.

The way it works for me is I like someone, so the sex gets a bit better, so I like them more, the more I like them the more I want sex, the more sex we have the better it gets, until it gets to the point where I think I love them (and the very best sex is always with someone you love - for me THAT'S where the intimacy comes into it). And then I want it ALL the time.
When you get in from work.
At night.
If you have an extra half hour for lunch.
And don't be making plans that involve getting dressed at the week-end. Although I have a selection of outfits that might fit the occasion.

It's also at this point that I like to get a bit kinky.

And it's at this point that pretty much every man I ever got involved with started saying things like, and I quote. . .
"I can't do that with you, I love you and I respect you too much" (No, I'm not telling you what 'that' was, but he was on the way out the minute those words were out of his mouth).
"You just want me for sex" (Well no, but without it you're not getting anything else).
"If I had an accident and my cock got cut off you'd dump me" (Honestly ? Yeah, he was probably right).
"I'm not a human vibrator" (Clearly he wasn't, once his battery died there was no replacing it).
"All we ever do is fuck, can't we just cuddle" (FYI in my world cuddling is foreplay).
"Do NOT be waking me up with a blow job tonight, I need to sleep" ( I decided this one was gay).
"Why do you have to act like a slut all the time" (Because he told me he liked women who dress up, so I used to turn up at his house wearing. . . )
"Why can't you let me make the first move instead of jumping on me as soon as I get here" ( This one wanted me to make him dinner while he moaned about work...nah, help me work up an appetite first and then I'll let you order a pizza. His job was digging holes in the road. REALLY wanted to talk about that. Not.)
And once I heard those statements I knew the end was nigh.

Seriously, I thought men wanted a woman who is always up for it. And when I'm really into someone I am, truth is I think they found my libido intimidating.
But as soon as I start to feel anything approaching frustration any emotions I feel seem to die off.

Maybe that's why I'm single.
Some of the relationships I've had have left me rather cynical, but at the same time I think that I just haven't met anyone truly compatable, or maybe never found true love, and I'd like to think I can put a YET on the end of that.
My last boyfriend fucked with my head in ways that have nothing to do with this post, and I am only just now beginning to think that it might be time to put the hunting gear on again.

Because there are really only two things I miss about being with someone.
The first one, obviously, is sex.
I'm spending a fucking fortune on batteries.
But the other thing is intimacy, and by that I mean the closeness I only seem to be able to feel when I am physically close to someone.
Which means I'll be expecting a lot of sex.

And having just read this back I realise that while Janie wanted a post about intimacy I have in fact just written a post about sex.

I think that proves my point.

Here's the link for Janies profile. Or as I moderate my comments leave me your email (it won't be published) and I will pass on to her.
I love her - and you will too !

Saturday, 10 March 2012

driving me crazy

After I wrote about the effects of ageing on my eyesight I read a similar themed post over on my blogger friend Tony Van Helsings site.
It got me thinking.
There are some things that you really do need to consider giving up as you get older.

And I'm not just talking about the fact that I might look a little bit silly at a rave in my glow-in-the-dark clothing, not that any of it fits me anymore. Besides all that bouncing around just makes my feet ache, and I need a week to recover even though I'm home and in bed with a cocoa by midnight.

My Dad is in his eighties.
Ill health has begun to affect his mobility in the last few years, but I obviously get my inability to get my brain to understand that I am no longer 25 from him.
Because up until a couple of years ago if you put this man in charge of anything with an engine he thought he was either a formula one driver or captain of the boat that holds the sea-speed record.

He was never concerned with the fact that his car is very old or that his boat is very small.
Size matters not, and it's "all the other silly bastards" who are at fault, never him.

Nowadays his car is so knackered I doubt it can go faster then the average milk cart, and most of the time he keeps his boat moored at it's week-end location and catches the ferry over to it.
But this was not always the case.
Dads boat looks very similar to this . . .

Except it's not as sea worthy.
Probably due to years of being "worked on" by Dad, the same man who once spent an entire week-end putting up shelves that fell down within half an hour of putting stuff on them. Actually most of my power tools were bought for me by Dad, because he knows if he wants something done I will make a better job of it then he can.
Apart from the boat, that is entirely his domain.

We live in a city that has a large Naval base, a continental ferry port which also deals with container ships, a smaller ferry terminal from which catamarans and smaller boats run, and a Hovercraft terminal right on the beach. Spend an afternoon sat on our seafront and you will see endless boats and other sea vehicles of all shapes and sizes pass by.

And occasionally a crazy old man dodging between them.

Not to scale. Shipping channel is six miles wide, 
if it looks crowded here then the reality is worse.

Dad told me "those ferries are fucking dangerous, a few times they've nearly hit me and they all seem to think that because they're so big they have the right of way".
That's because they do.
Dad was in the navy when he was a young man, so naturally he knows what he's doing and it's the captains of the various ferries, container ships, frigates, aircraft carriers and destroyers who have no idea how to manage their vessels.
And the Harbour Master needs firing. . . according to Dad. Because he has no idea how careless those big ships are and how dangerously their captains drive them.
Do you drive a boat ? Steer perhaps.

One day I was round my sisters and the TV was on although we were talking and not paying any attention to it. The local news came on and there was a story about someone being charged with causing a nuisance to shipping in a small private boat - we both stopped talking and sat there waiting to hear the newscaster say our Dads name.
Because we just KNEW it was going to be him.
It wasn't, thankfully. But it SO should of been.

My sisters mother-in-law lives where the smaller ferries are heading to, and she had the hardest time trying to find a polite way to say to Dad that there was no fucking way she was going to do what he suggested.
Let him take her and her kids over rather then "wasting" all that money on the ferry.

According to Dad the reason he now keeps his boat permanently at the week-end location is because it was getting too dangerous to cross - nothing to do with him, just they are "letting too many other boats use the water" and he was worried for his safety.
Now he knows how his daughters have been feeling for twenty fucking years.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said about him driving on the road.
Except that nowadays his lack of speed is the problem rather then too much of it. I stopped accepting his offers of lifts a long time ago, white knuckle rides are not my thing. But one day before I wised up he was driving me home and turned a corner without slowing down causing the poor man who had just stepped into the road to cross it to jump back.
And Dad ?
He stopped, I thought to check the fella was ok. But no, he wound the window down and shouted at him to "look before you cross the fucking road".

I wish he would just give up his car.
Every year he says he is going to, he no longer goes very far in it anyway, but he never does.
For someone who has always been reckless at the best of times, when you put the issues of old age into the equation it goes beyond stupid and into the range of fucking dangerous.
Actually scrap that.
It's always been dangerous.

I think there should be some system in place that means that when you get older you have to prove that you are still capable of driving. We all know that as you age your physical capabilities can lessen, and not just your eyesight. Dad has arthritis in his knees that makes it impossible for him to climb my stairs, he cannot sit on my sofa because he can't get back up from it and walks with a stick, yet he drives a manual car.
I worry about him, and of course anyone else that might be involved if he had an accident.

Because, of course, it wouldn't be Dads fault.

I'm not saying that all old people are bad drivers, nor do I think that all bad drivers are old.
I've never managed to learn to drive and not for the want of trying.
But my last instructor refused to give me anymore lessons because apparently I am "a liability" and he was worried "for my car and my own personal safety".
I thought I was doing ok.
I'd got to the point where he no longer had to tell me 'clutch, brake etc' - just where to go, and we were driving through a little village high street. The car had five gears, so I was damn well going to use them, and as we turned into the road I was going (or so I thought) a bit too fast to be able to stop before I hit either the double decker bus that was coming towards me or the policeman on a pushbike in front of us.
So I hit the policeman.
Not badly, I wasn't going that fast. Really I just clipped his back wheel and he wobbled a bit before kind of stepping off. When he saw it was a learner driver - and the look of terror on my face - he just waved us on.

But when we pulled up outside my house and I wanted to book my next lesson the instructor wasn't exactly happy.
I guess lack of driving skills are another thing I've inherited.

Dad was always giving me advice to "help" with my lessons. The one I remember was "when you approach a bend in a road drop a gear (sound advice so far. . . ) then as you get to it go up again and drive into it ".

Lately I've been thinking that I might try to learn again, I'm not as reckless as I was when I had those last lessons, they were quite a long time ago.
But then again I might just get behind the wheel and turn into Lewis Hamilton.

I am my Dad's daughter after all.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

plain speaking

There's a lot of things about getting older maturing that I don't really appreciate but I find I can live with.

Even the mentalpause has been bothering me less since I got back from India. Well either that or I just chilled out so much that my anger issues are being kept at bay.
In which case who knows what will happen when that particular bubble bursts.
But there are ways and means to avoid the other signs of my impending pensioner status. Grey hairs can be dyed ( or waxed - don't ask. You get them everywhere). Diet and exercise can keep aches and pains at bay (or so I'm told) and wrinkles can be filled with botox. Not that I have any. . . yet.
Wrinkles that is, not botox.

And I accept that there may be some things I will be stuck with.
But the one thing I fucking hate is the deterioration of my eyesight. I asked an optician (who was about 25, thin and beautiful - fucking bitch) about having laser treatment and was informed that there was no point since the problem is caused by age. If I had it done I would need glasses again in a couple of years as they will continue to get worse.

Just. Great. Make me feel good about myself why don't you.

I don't actually mind wearing glasses as such.
Men seem to find them sexy for some reason.
I've had sordid fuck fests romances with two men who liked me to keep them on ALL the time. One actually found them more of a turn on then any sleazy get up classy outfit I wore.
What really pisses me off about glasses is having to continually take them on and off. Since I am long sighted I only need them for reading and watching TV so when I'm out and about they are in my bag, and it's a fucking pain getting them out to get a bus ticket or look at prices in the shop, taking them off to walk to the till (if I don't everything looks wonky), then on again to use my card.
In a two hour shopping trip they are on and off more frequently then a strippers pants.

Sometimes I just can't be arsed to get them out of my bag.
Especially as my bag is more like a small suitcase that contains a black hole into which any item I want to retrieve from it will disappear.
Which is why yesterday after Son had text me saying we needed toilet roll I went to the shop and came home with these. . .

It's an easy mistake to make.
They do look similar, especially when you can't see properly.

And I am easily confused.
Sometimes I think the English language is very confusing, I've been helping my friends four year old with her reading and there are some things about it that you just can't explain. How do you make a child whose learning phonetically understand that 'the' is not pronounced te-he-eh ?
Especially when the child asks 'why' about everyfuckingthing.
And why does the announcement on the train as it approaches the stop always have to say "please mind the gap when ALIGHTING from the train".

What's wrong with saying leaving, getting off or even departing ?
I hear that announcement every day and I imagine this,

I'm worried that one day I will spontaneously combust when I step onto the platform.
I have enough trouble getting to work on time.

And here's another thing I don't really get, why do so many restaurants now advertise themselves as having a salad bar. What fucking twat thought up that expression.
There's two words that should not be said in the same sentence, ever. I hear the word bar and I expect to see alcohol not tomatoes, lettuce and cold pasta.

Unless of course they're serving cocktails with fruit in, then it makes sense.

A friend of mine, Tina, is always getting her words confused, but the things she says are hilarious. Her favourite film ever is Blade Runner and one day she was round mine and we saw an advertisment for the directors cut coming on the TV at the weekend. She was annoyed because she had to go out and was going to miss it as her recorder was broken, I told her to remind me and I would record it for her.
Saturday afternoon she rings me,
"please don't forget Road Runner is on tonight"
"meep meep"
"what ?"
"meep meep"

Ridley Scotts finest work.

Another time we were out in Tinas car and another friend of ours had moved house. This other friend now lived just up the road from the local police station and as we drove past it I pointed out her new house,
"I could never live there"
"Why not ? It's a gorgeous house"
"It's far too close to the playstation".

In Tina's case she's just funny, and she laughs at herself when you point out her mistakes.
Kids, on the other hand can be quite embarassing.

When Son was about ten I got myself a Slendertone.
One of those devices with pads that you put on your muscles, the idea being that you can tone yourself up without having to move off the sofa whilst eating chocolate and cake.
Or maybe that's just me. Either way it didn't work.

Son got it stuck in his head that it was called a vibrator. At ten I wasn't going to explain to him exactly why that mistake was funny, I think he had probably heard the word somewhere, and since the thing did sort of vibrate it made sense to him. He found it hilarious watching me twitch when I used it too.
And I probably didn't help, because even though I corrected him every time I was always laughing as I did so.
Fine, until you are on the bus and your child says,
"Are you going to use your vibrator when we get home".
Or you are talking to your older posher neighbour over the garden wall and he says,
"Have you used your vibrator today".
Or you hear him saying to his friend,
"You should see my Mum using her vibrator, she goes all twitchy".

Luckily I don't think that child ever went home and said anything to his parents. . .
"and he said I could watch his Mum use her vibrator too"
. . .  because I never got a visit from Child Services.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

problem child

There was a woman with her son on my train home from work tonight and the kid was acting up.
Not much really, he kept standing on his seat, she kept telling him to sit back down and he was being a bit loud and cheeky.
The train was pretty full but nobody seemed bothered by him, if anything he was entertaining. Every time he stood up he was chatting to the man in the seat behind him, who didn't seem to mind, but the mother apologised saying the boy had ADHD.

I don't think he did.
He was clearly excited to be on the train and judging by the amount of luggage they had they were either on their way back from or going on holiday.
What was evident was that the mother had no idea of how to manage her son, he was about 5 or 6 and yet there were no comics or toys on their table. He was not listening to her, but she had nothing to offer him as a distraction. I don't know how long they had been on the train but common sense should tell you that the average 6 year old is not going to sit still for too long unless he has something to occupy his mind.

What is wrong with this picture.

I have worked with children who really do have ADHD, and even with medication they are hard to control. Actually I'll rephrase that, since with them it's more that they have a hard time controlling themselves. I have seen kids work themselves into a frenzy, unable to stop whatever it is they are doing even though later they will tell you that they didn't want to - they cannot stop.
I have even known young people ask that staff restrain them when they get that way because they want someone else to take control for them.

Nowadays it seems to me that it's all too easy to label a child as being or having a problem when the real problem lies with the lack of parenting skills.
Doing so can have adverse effects on the child in several ways.
There is stigma attached to any negative label that can stay with you into adulthood, and telling a child it has ADHD can sometimes give it what it takes as an excuse to behave badly, or might mean that adults do not challenge the behaviour because they think it's to be expected.
I've heard parents say that their GP made the diagnosis, I can't speak for other countries but in the UK only a child mental health practitioner is qualified to make that decision or prescribe the drugs used to control it.
All a GP should be doing, if they think there is a problem, is referring a patient to one.
And even they can get it wrong, mild autistic disorders such as Aspergers can often produce similar symptoms.

The drugs that are used to treat the condition can have horrible side effects.
Stunted growth, delay of puberty, excess hairiness and even tourettes - which will appear as tics. I've worked with kids who exhibited all of these, in their cases all were on quite a high dose and a couple were also on anti-psychotics, a combination that is not unusual for extreme ADHD.

When you've seen kids like those you know that a bored six year old having trouble staying in his seat and wanting some attention has only really got one problem.
A parent who has no clue.

I was quite tempted to ask her how she knew her son had ADHD, and was it really a case of she couldn't control him.
But stupid people don't listen anyway, and I'm feeling very tired today so she had a lucky escape.

And whilst I'm talking about lucky escapes meet the latest hunk to message me on a dating site.
I really don't know why I'm bothering.
Blog fodder I guess.

Oh joy, someone who has nipples that are pointing further south then mine.
Ok, I know I am probably what some people might call a lady of a certain age but I still want to actually fancy someone. And anyway I knocked ten years off am vague about my age on my profile.
This is what he has to say about himself,

I am me ?
That's a shame because if you were someone else I might be interested.
Some body ?
Is he into necrophilia ? Sounds like he's not too fussed either way.
This is why you should REALLY be extra careful about grammar when composing profiles, and I can't help thinking about dog treats when I read the last sentence.

I also decided to take a look at the competition . . . .

Ladies - you know how much we hate it when we go out and someone else is wearing the same frock ?

Not only is this the most unflattering article I have ever seen, but there are two of them wearing it.

Yeah, I REALLY don't know why I'm bothering.
Unless I want to buy an overpriced ghastly creation that makes me look like one of those pictures you stare at when you're tripping to make your eyes go wonky.

Thanks to everyone who voted in the poll.
The winning result was that yes I should run for prime minister, but I have to pay you to vote for me.
Just as I thought. . . you lot are as corrupt as me.