Saturday, 29 October 2005
Surreal or what. It is on Channel 69 for starters, the humour of which wasn't lost on our 16 year old daughter as she walked in to print stuff up on the printer. At the point I started watching it was like a wonderful acid trip - assuming I had tried acid and knew what is what like. Swirling coloured oils on water accompanied by light classical music.
It's been on for an hour now and I've not even had a drink. It would be good to be slightly tipsy and sharing the joke with a few friends. This possibly even tops the shopping channel and at one point they had wooden toys on a turntable. Just like a display on QVC.
Each wooden toy with string limbs had been carefully placed. It wouldn't have been quite so funny if we hadn't just watched a programme on people's bodies. Various people in many stages of nakedness talk about the various details on their bodies with a few scenes in a sauna with young men sitting with their legs akimbo revealing all. These wood and string toys couldn't help but be sitting akimbo and I could see appendages and them talking in funny regional accents about their bodies.
We've had wind chimes and wildlife shots and screen savers and fish tank scenes so that the TV looks like it is a fish tank.
A google reveals Baby TV has been going for two years in Israel and is coming out across the networks worldwide. Look out for it for yourself. A few bevvies and a spliff might just do the trick. Goodness knows what effect this has on the kids if it does that for me?
Some links on the subject: Worldscreen.com or Children Concerts Transcend Gaza or Baby TV controversy
Wednesday, 26 October 2005
The trouble is the fishy smelly from the frying. Maybe it was the skin of the salmon or something but it was vile and stank the whole house. Burning incense didn't help.
This morning I threw open all windows and doors and it didn't help enough. A quick google tells me I should boil a pan of water with half a lemon in it. Hours later that didn't help either.
It also didn't help that I then forgot the boiling pan of water and lemon....
Another google later for how to get rid of burnt smells and another pan of water with a huge handful of cloves. It worked, for both the fish and burnt smells! I'm almost tempted to do it again with a dried orange and some cloves. To get that Christmassy feeling.
Tuesday, 25 October 2005
These are the parts of the world I have travelled to:
Create your own visited country map
I've travelled : across the world before the age of five. Living in England; Singapore and Australia (Adelaide, Canberra, Sydney and Perth). I travelled back to England on my own at the age of 12 and stopped off in Bahrain. They let me walk around on my own and unsupervised so I have included Bahrain even if it was only a stop over. I've travelled many times to Germany getting the boat train from Victoria Station in London. That has taken me through France, Belgium and Holland depending on which route I went. And if you include the wrong train I once caught, nearly took me to Austria. Another wrong train took us (me and the kids) on a scenic tour of the Rhine but finished me off financially with all the ticket surcharges for the privilege of a mistake.
Greece was for work. Sitting up on the Acropolis is beyond compare. Also Sicily and Spain and Ibiza. France and Brittany several times, twice for work. Scotland when I was 16 and my first taste of freedom as I hitch-hiked around and then again years later with my little daughter and son brewing in my tum. Ireland fairly recently for a wedding. Wales several times.
Did I mention Morocco? I had always wanted to go to the continent of Africa and as the plane landed I could have kissed the ground. That was so special.
As single parent I bust a gut and earned the money and with my connections took the kids to St Lucia in the Caribbean. (As a child I stood on the shores of Western Australia and looked out to sea and imagined the tropical Caribbean somewhere in that direction and yearned to go.) Wonderful place and wonderful holiday with a friend who lived as a local. Very different to the usual tourist trip.
And then there is my beloved States. I've been three times. The first as a work trip (I've must have had some great jobs!) I went to New York and Boston. It was January and snow was about. It was magical. The second time with my husband to be and we saw New England in the Fall. The last time was with the kids and we did a big tour of the South West and then to Boston and Worcester and Connecticut and New York.
I think I've been to more places and will probably remember them another time. I love travelling with a passion.
I speak : English too fast. So fast that I sometimes get my words jumbled up and they come out wrong and I make up new words on the hoof. Do you think I'd stand a chance of speaking any other languages?! Actually, I've dabbled in German and French and once tried to teach myself Arabic.
If I had to emigrate : I'd go somewhere warmish but not too hot. Sometimes I'd like to live in the US and sometimes in Spain. Once upon a time I wanted to live in Germany to learn the language but it is no longer a desire so I suppose I won't.
Before I die, I want to visit : many more places in this world. One visit is never enough and never long enough. But if I had to choose, these are on my list: Egypt; Japan; Siberia; Iceland to see the Northern Lights.
Thank you Astryngia for a lovely journey :-)
I tag anyone reading this to make their own world map and tell of their travels. Where would you emigrate if you had to leave your country of residence and what languages can you speak or did you learn at school? Where do you most want to visit before you die? :-)
Let me know if you do it and I'll pop a link to you here.
Thanks to SydneyB who has shared her journey!
Monday, 24 October 2005
In the UK, more and more libraries have websites so that you can look up a book to see if it is in and other such services. Having seen 84 Charing Cross Road I now wanted to read the book. Especially now I am considering what to do with my own Kebab Correspondence. A copy was available at the main library.
I finally had to ask the Librarian (are they called that anymore?) where I might find it on the bookshelves as I had scoured high and low. He sat at his computer desk and as I said "84 Charing Cross Road by..." he replied with a knowing "ah yes" as if he was part of the club and knew that this was a most excellent book. As he consulted the screen, I noticed his name was one letter away from a very famously disgraced MP from the 1980s. I sat there trying not to grin and trying to think of something witty to say with regard to prostitutes and the particular fetish this MP had but managed to keep it to myself.
Eventually Mr MP disguised as a Librarian assures me they don't have the book. Even though I had just looked it up online? He has nothing to say and there is no point me pushing him. He finds out where there are copies and they are both newly out. He then tells me in his knowing way that it was published in 1971. As if this was so frightfully long ago and what am I doing expecting to find a copy in a public library. I really don't know what he meant and eventually he located a copy in the nether regions of our huge County. He could get it in for me he said. The thought that this was a dirty old paperback circulating since 1971 with missing pages suddenly didn't seem too appealing. Thanking him I said I'd come back if I wanted him to order it in.
Looking around the shelves for other reading matter I was suddenly struck by all the wonderful books you can find. Although I have used libraries all my life and always taken the kids there it never seemed to have exciting up to date books. I remember my commuting days before I had kids when I would scour WH Smith at the train station eagerly awaiting the latest Virago publication, especially the Maya Angelou series. Now standing in library, I was transported back in time and filled with excitement.
I found a vacant staircase to sit, in a straight back way, to start reading "Aunt Edna's Guide to Paradise" by Keith Sharp. Very strange so far. Off beat with references to modern day life and politics, great literary works and authors.
In the American section I found "Letter from New York" by Helene Hanff and another from the fiction section, "Provincial Daughter" by R M Dashwood.
On the way home I popped into almost every charity (second hand) shop, just in case someone has cast off their ancient 1971 book but alas. Even though I have plenty to read I succumbed to Waterstones and for £6.99 bought "84 Charing Cross Road".
At Thorntons I was able to buy 4 nice chocolates in a plastic bag for 99p. The nice young girl, who had taken a break from decorating chocolate messages onto chocolate disks, served me and knew better than to seal up the bag. My back ached so much but keeping on the move helped. I'd forgotten how dangerous it was to read a book whilst crossing busy roads.
At home I found a position that was comfortable enough, curled up on my side, and finished reading it right through. I cried! Am now part-way through "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street" which is Helene's account of her first ever trip to London which was after the book was published in the States.
Sunday, 23 October 2005
Or not, as the case may be! Having had a visit from DorisFM in Mexico I visited her blog and put some of the Spanish through the Google translator. To test the messages I was writing in Spanish on her blog I put the English in to translate to Spanish and then back to English to check. Laughable.
I've used this free service before - and it is good at identifying at least a few words but it may not give you the right meaning or context. It was fun to use it again. So I tried some silly stuff.... translated the first paragraph of my last post:
Oh dear, what has Cheryl unleashed with the story of her First Kiss. From the other First Kiss stories they seem so sweet and innocent..... and young!
from French to German to English comes out as:
Oh expensive, which has Cheryl, which was released with the history of its first kiss. Another first history meringue they seem so tender and innocent..... and of the young people!
that is quite delightful. So here goes another:
My hormones and whatever else were in a tizz. I wore tight red slightly waxed pedal-pushers and probably looked quite hot. Me, all innocent as the day, was exploding from within. By this time the fireworks were all over the place between us.
From English to Portugese and back to English comes out as:
Mine hormones and what others were in one tizz. I slightly consumed pressed waxed pedal-pushers of the red and looked at probably completely hot. I, all innocent as the day, he was blowing up of inside. For this time fireworks was all on the place between us.
Added 24 Oct:
Thank you to Universal Soldier for his link to Poetry in Translation which he put into the comments. It automatically translate sentences from English to German, then to French and then back to German and back to English. It's a surprise that anything remains!
BTW - do we think that George W got to it first? He really said this and I haven't messed around with it:
"I was going to say he's a piece of work, but that might not translate too well. Is that all right, if I call you a 'piece of work'?" George W. Bush to Jean-Claude Juncker, prime minister of Luxembourg, Washington, D.C., June 20, 2005 [from Bushisms]
But in the end, Bush' comments couldn't be any funnier as they are, so Tony Blair gets the treatment: [from Tony Blair Quotes]
The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.
The art of control does not say No. It is necessary to say yes very simply.
Wonderfully Tony Blair also says:
You only require two things in life: your sanity and your wife.
They require only two things in the life: Your Sanity and your wife.
Friday, 21 October 2005
My first kiss happened late on a Saturday night just before my seventeenth birthday. I had a live-in hotel job in London and this was my one whole day off that week. I had been to the Kings Road and sat reading in the Drugstore pub. There were a couple of nice young American tourists, one was particularly cute and he caught my eye. But nothing else happened.
After a while, I continued on my window shopping, feeling like I could kick myself for walking out the pub without doing anything about the cute guy. Inside a nearby shop I was looking at the ska t-shirts, thin mod ties and Specials button badges when lo and behold.... the two Americans are there. We got chatting, me doing the unofficial tourist guide bit, and continued window shopping together. Then caught a bus to Piccadilly Circus. Time was getting on and they invited me to eat with them at a restaurant.
My hormones and whatever else were in a tizz. I wore tight red slightly waxed pedal-pushers and probably looked quite hot. Me, all innocent as the day, was exploding from within. By this time the fireworks were all over the place between us.
It was a Lebanese Restaurant that we went to with the American's brother. The cute guy was called Eric and was 16. Younger than I but seemingly more mature! And his brother was 18. They seemed to have a tourist flat off Baker Street and I'm not sure where their parents were staying. As we sat eating, I could barely eat a crumb I was so nervous with excitement. No boy had ever given me any attention before and here I was with this really cute guy. We had been the epitome of good behaviour and hadn't so much as touched hands.
Finally, we left the restaurant but I don't really remember leaving it any normal way. It is quite possible that we suddenly became a swirl of bodies as our lips connected. It is possible that I pulled Eric to me. It was very passionate and it was full on. It was worth the wait!
And that was my first kiss :-)
Wednesday, 19 October 2005
There are times when I have tried to dive into my dream world, feeling sure that it was an alternative reality and not just a collection of symbols. To an extent, despite the tiredness, I have held tight to this alternative world and refused to let it go even though it is often a reality filled with fear.
I also sleep talk, sleep walk and have night terrors. The last few years these have been a lot less, maybe because I am finally calming down in some ways. My sleep talking is rarely understandable and when it is, it is usually nonsense. But sometimes I will shout.
Sleep walking is now confined to moving around in my bedroom. Sometimes in terror because I can see imaginary spiders or the entire ceiling is covered in spiders webs; or maybe there is a spider or insects or small mammals in bed with us. In the early days I think Mr Doris was a little alarmed and then bemused by it all but these days he is quite blase and will happily sleep through it and let me get on with it but when I get back into bed his warm arms cuddle me.
In the earlier days of our relationship I took to "rescuing him". Much to his surprise I would physically pull him out of bed to protect him from the ceiling that was about to fall in or the such like. I still occasionally whisk him out of bed in the dark of the night but at least it is less so now. And he is surprisingly obliging and doesn't get upset with me!
And then there are the night terrors and I'd hold the classic "night terrors" pose with one arm up in the air in protection and giving a silent scream but in my head it is loud. These usually result in me switching on the light although I am still asleep.
Worst of all happens only about once a year now and I think is something altogether different and is to do with my childhood memories. It always involves my mother and I end up sobbing so much with huge tears. I'd wake from the fear of my mother and shake and cry so much. Mr Doris always holds onto me tenderly. Next morning I'd have big red puffy eyes but otherwise I'd be OK.
With a few exceptions, my dreamworld up until recently has been mainly about being chased or being on the run. Always running, looking, trying to find but never finding nor knowing what it was all supposed to be about. It is strange to think that I held onto this alternative reality, but I did because there would be some very odd times that were almost priceless.
As a child I slept walked into other rooms which appeared very different. We lived high up in a modern tower block but the room I'd see would have old oak panelling and a secret door. Another time I tried to go into the secret room - but it was my parents' bedroom and the next morning my mother accused me of being a pervert. After that I kept a massive weight behind my bedroom door so I couldn't get out in my sleep.
Other times I've had weird and amazing adventures. On a few rare occasions I have had answers to problems in my dreams and acted upon them. I'm sure I dream in colour. My sleep walking/terror visions are so vivid they have to be real and for a while it really is until I either 'remember' it is just a dream and come to, or just wake up.
These days instead of thinking there is a parallel universe I'm more inclined to think it has a lot to do with my brain chemicals that create these delusions. I wonder also if this is what schizophrenic people experience but their alternative reality lasts for much longer. At least I snap out of it before too long.
It is a puzzling and curious experience. Even though I experience them night after night for every night of my life so far there is something mysterious and amazing about them. However, I'm ready to let this dreamworld go and would like to get night after night of restful sleep. Let me sleep. Please.
Scot has been discussing My Pygmalion Dreams
Tuesday, 18 October 2005
Three names I go by:
3. Outside of blogging my name has never been shortened. Used wrongly maybe, but I've never had a cute shortened version, or a nickname, affectionately given to me. I feel deprived!
Three screen names I have had:
1. I'm not getting off to a good start here....
2. ... do you know that some people do web searches....
3. ... on screen names and come up with some interesting stuff!
Three physical things I like about myself:
1. my 2 caesarian scars as they are neat and tiny but say so much
2. the scar on my foot (another talking point and the story always makes people whince in a very satisfying way for me!)
3. left ventricle valve
Three physical things I don't like about myself:
1. Not tall enough
2. tummy - might be small but I've always had a tum
3. Slight double chin but son calls it puppy fat LOL
Three parts of my heritage:
Three things that scare me:
2. spiders - but I cope
3. dogs - but I cope
Three of my everyday essentials:
1. Mr Doris
Three of my favorite musical artists:
1. The Seekers
Three of my favorite songs:
1. Georgy Girl - The Seekers
2. Sunday Girl - Blondie
3. Don't stop me now - Queen
Three things I want in a relationship:
1. I am a highly respected intellectual with answers to the world's problems
2. I am a sex kitten who wears only pearls
3. I am a liar
1. I try
2. I procrastinate
3. Sometimes I do well
Three physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me:
1. upper arm (doesn't have to be muscley - it is just erogenous!)
Three of my favorite hobbies:
2. cooking (yeah - it's a hobby and not a chore!)
3. driving a car
Three things I want to do really badly now:
1. read my bank statements that have lots of zeros in my favour
2. have a cup of tea
3. see how else I can squander my three wishes
Three careers I've considered:
1. Nursery Nurse (done it)
2. Educational Psychologist (started higher education for it)
3. Cook on a building site (done it)
Three places I want to go on vacation:
Three kid's names I like:
1. Zoe (with an umlaut)
Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Why limit myself to three...
2. ... three more things...
3. ... or three new things? Drats, I've squandered another three things!
Three ways that I am stereotypically a boy:
1. impassive and unemotional
2. lack of femininity
3. facial hair ... OK, maybe not... I have one chin hair
Three ways that I am stereotypically a girl:
1. caring and very emotional
Three celebrity crushes:
1. Karl Malden (I jest ye not!)
2. Marily Monroe
3. Mae West
Three people that I would like to see post this meme:
2. Hell on Heels
And anyone else, I dub thee as chosen :-)
Death figures could be as much as 54,000 and 3,000,000 people are homeless [BBC]. It is getting to be very cold (-3 centigrade!) and people are really suffering. Having survived the quake they may now die and are in desperate need of tents, blankets, food and water. Money is needed now and the DEC (Disaster Emergency Committee) have finally started an appeal.
We have already given to a local Pakistani family organising relief and have now given to the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal for the Asia quake. I see Islamic Relief is now a member and hope that there will be more Muslim Faith charities part of the appeal and getting a say in organising and distributing the aid.
As a British taxpayer giving to a charity the charity gets an extra 28 pence for every pound given.
What a terrible year it has been with disasters.
Monday, 17 October 2005
Ads that upset me are the sort that undermines someone such as the yoghurt ads where the woman leaves her boyfriend locked out the door because she is too busy indulging in her yoghurt. Or the selfish ones where the woman sets up her bloke to look like he is having an affair so that she can throw him out and sleep for the night in her bed washed in a certain fabric conditioner. Or the beautifully filmed black and white ad with French dialogue. The man and woman are cycling on a tandem cycle through the countryside when he notices the chocolate bar in the cycle basket and purposefully cycles under a overhangning branch to knock his female companion off the cycle so that he can go off and eat the chocolate bar by himself.
What happened to people being kind and sharing the love? What are we saying... that it is OK to be mean and selfish?
For the first time tonight I have seen an ad on TV for Orange phones with the point being the longer you stay with them the better it gets. The ad beguiles you as this older couple move around each other in dance-like balletic moves, starting off by reaching round the breakfast table and ending up by intertwining, with a wonderful motion that continues and flows from the kitchen to outside in the garden to down the road. He sweeps her up in his arms and swings her round but it all seems so effortless and beautiful.
Orange also do a great series of cinema ads reminding us to switch off our phones during the film and they get me every time. I'm not sure which is my favourite but I love the Darth Vader p*ss take where they start singing the one of the Star Wars themes.
I just love the delightful Doris and the Tropical Surf ad! The link will open in a new browser and you need to have the sound on. Sadly that film so typifies very many places in the UK with a drab greyness and having to go to the launderette. And if we are to fall for the advertising, we'd believe that washing our smalls in this stuff will take us to paradise. Ahhh. As if!
Sunday, 16 October 2005
It has fabulous carpet and an authentic looking fireplace installed. Sadly, it had been looking grubby and tatty of late. But no more.
I worked all day with every nook and cranny cleared, dusted and hoovered. The furniture had to be slightly re-arranged such that it now looks amazing. I lit the fire and put the lamp on, now it is in a more convenient place, and have been sat all evening in my palace enjoying the splendour after all the hard work. The kids have strict instructions about keeping it tidy now and one can only hope.
Wednesday, 12 October 2005
It went well enough. Son skated close to the wind as I felt he talked a bit too much sometimes, such as about the various bribes he gets. Or when he expressed little interest in this or that but otherwise, it was obvious he was not a child that was locked in the cellar and that he was thriving and learning well.
He was sat at his desk during the course of the meeting and had taken it upon himself to pen a few ditties and share them with us. I could only hold my head up high when he read out this one, even though I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me:
have you any weed?
Yes man, yes man
Two bags full.
One bag for the druggie,
One with cocaine,
and that one's for the little boy
who smokes down the lane
In the earlier draft he had mentioned "cooking". He checked with us the spelling of druggie - with an ie and not a y. He spelt cocaine correctly. Oh luvly-jubbly. Looks great. Our son knows the drug lingo and can spell it well.
The LEA woman was very nice and reassuring that she wouldn't mention it to anyone.... like as 'eck! That will be one of the funniest things if it wasn't potentially dangerous. That familiarity suggests our use of the stuff and inappropriate access to our son. I kept my confidence and told her how we talk about all sorts of subjects and she too agreed it is better that he talked about it. She's gone now, quite happy, and I just shake my head in disbelief.
Reminds me of the time when he was about 3 or 4 years old. He's a cute lad is my son and with very different skin colour to my own so the family resemblance is not obvious at first. In a supermarket he decided to play a trick on me at the checkouts and in a very loud voice asked me who I was and stated that I wasn't his mum! He kept it up for enough minutes for people to start taking notice. Grrrr. Today compares very well to that.