Archive for August, 2007

Lessons in parenthood

I have the pleasure of Mini Adult’s company again today and tomorrow. She is asleep now, preparing for our big day out tomorrow!

I picked her up after work and we went to the cinema. After some debate we ended up seeing The Simpsons (she wanted to see Bratz – I refused as the dolls scare me, have you seen the size of their eyes!?) – turned out to be a good choice, though Mini Adult was not impressed with seeing a naked Bart! I was put off my pick and mix by the teenage couple in front of us trying to remove each others tonsils with their tongues (I have no problem with this, but that’s what the back row is for!), however a few subtle kicks to the backs of their seats soon resolved matters! I have to say that having the residue of a raging hangover didn’t endear me to their slurps at all.

Tomorrow, we are going to something called the Eco Park with Best Friend and The Cool Kid. I’m not entirely sure what it’s all about, but I have been told I will learn about dinosaurs and ‘the world’ (which seems like a very broad subject to me). Mini Adult and The Cool Kid are very excited, Best Friend has assured me she has all the parental type stuff under control and all I have to do is turn up with money and obey instructions!

Best Friend and I have done a few trips out with the kids. As much as I am perfectly capable of making sure Mini Adult is safe, fed and watered, I am not a natural parent. Best Friend is. She’s the one that has the plasters, spare drinks and tissues to hand. My role on these trips is to generally act the idiot, make them laugh and tire them out! Best Friend normally informs me before hand if anything further will be required of me, so I have time to prepare myself. I have had no such instructions for tomorrow, so I am assuming that I’m safe. However, I am going to have to pay attention to what Best Friend does; I have promised Mini Adult that I will take her to London for the day in a few weeks. Maybe I should take notes…

An open letter to all diet whores and bores

Dear Diet Whore or Bore (delete as appropriate)

I am writing to you as I feel that there are some things I need to point out. This is for your own good; it will mean that I do not have to beat you around the head with your latest ‘miracle’ and force feed you cream cakes.

The first thing I need to make you aware of is that buying the book and looking at the pretty pictures is NOT enough! If you are going to follow this diet then I’m afraid it means that you have to actually cook the suggested meals and then eat them. By that, I mean eat the recommended portion and not the whole thing plus the contents of your freezer!

I also need to make you aware that following a diet for one week will not have an effect. Have some willpower and at least give it a go if you want to. If you give up, please do not issue us with a list of excuses. Do not tell me that it didn’t fit into your lifestyle but the new one will – I don’t believe you.

Also, please realise that I do not care which one you are flirting with this week. I do not need to know that you are following the Weight Watchers plan and exactly how many points your meal has consisted of. When I wake up in the night reciting point values for everything in my fridge (salad is 0 points, but an egg has 2!) then things have gone too far! When you are on the Atkins, I do not need to know where the dreaded ‘hidden carbs’ are hiding, it does not interest me at all.

When you are following Gillian Whats-her-face I do not need to be made aware of the fact that eating fruit and seeds has done wonders for your bowels, or that you can do amazing things with tofu. I have no interest in which seeds you are going to buy wholesale, as I know that in a couple of weeks you will have moved on to something else.

I do not wish to be informed about what I should swap for what. I do not care if what I am eating contains 500 calories, whereas if I made a slight adjustment I could save…Ooo, all of about 5 calories. I have no desire to discuss whether counting calories, fat or carbs is better or how far I would have to walk to burn off the doughnut I have just eaten. I enjoyed the doughnut, why would you want to ruin it for me?

I hope you understand the intentions behind this letter. I do not mean to cause you pain (yet!) but I am worried that, in time, I will be unable to stop myself. For your own sake I am going to issue you with the following advice…

Put the diet book down and eat some bloody chocolate!

Yours

Alcoment

Where everybody knows your name…

Or at least knows what you buy!

It appears that my life is now based on Cheers.

Either that or I am much more of a creature of habit than I thought I was.

I have a terrible Starbucks addiction and go in for my vat of coffee everyday. Recently, there have been the same couple of women on shift when I go in in the morning. I walked in today, still half asleep and on automatic pilot.

I was greeted with “Good morning! Grande, skinny latte as usual, love?” I stood there for a few seconds, initially feeling slightly assaulted by such cheeriness at that time of the morning and also somewhat amazed that she knew what my order was. Having received my coffee, I trundled off to pick up some cigarettes.

I arrived at the kiosk where I end up most mornings. The bloke who normally serves me was there and asked “Do you need all of it, or just some of it today?” (I roll my own, so can have quite a list some mornings). I confirmed that I needed all of it, plus some chewing gum (one of my many other addictions) and a lighter. He commented that I seem to go through a lot of lighters and then waved me on my way.

By this stage, I was beginning to feel I was being monitored by some form of caffeine and nicotine police force.

I probably wouldn’t have thought any more about it if I hadn’t had gone up to the local shop on my lunch break to pick up a sandwich.

As I wandered in, the shopkeeper informed me that they had “those sandwiches that you like”, but had “sold out of your newspaper”.

I live in a relatively small city, but this was ridiculous. I’m all for knowing lots of people, but I’m not great with routine. I didn’t realise how many small bits of my life I repeated day after day.

It’s time to shake things up a bit.

I may go into Starbucks tomorrow and order an espresso!

Macho men

One thing that always makes me smile is when I see groups of lads trying to look ‘hard’.I’m not talking about the ones that are serious, but the ones who look like they should be at home, having their tea cooked by Mummy Dearest and bartering to be allowed to go out to the local youth club.

You can usually spot them a mile off. They tend to be wearing the uniform of baggy jeans (nicely ironed with a crease down the front – thanks Mum!) that show off their boxers (buy a belt – I will lend you the money if you need it) and sporting a hat that’s kind of perched on the top of their head. The big giveaway is the fake ‘street speak’; they have all the right phrases but unfortunately can’t hide the fact that they were raised to ‘talk properly’ and are making a deliberate effort to drop their T’s and H’s.

I encountered such a group today. I was walking along, when I looked up to see 3 lads swaggering towards me (please stop doing this, I either assume you have a problem with your hips, or that you’ve bought those weird trainers with springs in the soles) taking up the whole path. I carried on, knowing full well that their training would mean they would stand aside to let me pass.

I had to suppress a giggle when all of a sudden I heard “Ow, that hedge got me”.

I glanced round to see one of them rubbing his arm, before giving the aforementioned hedge a very cross glare and checking that he wasn’t bleeding. It was all I could do not to offer to get him a hanky and a plaster.

Sorry boys, it kind of spoilt the effect…

My tabloid education

I have spent a lazy Sunday morning surrounded by the papers. Part of my Sunday ritual, along with watching the Hollyoaks omnibus, is to take a trip through the wonderful world of tabloid trash and update my knowledge of useless information and celebrity trivia.

I have some admiration for those who manage to wade through the broadsheets and receive their Sunday schooling in literature, culture, the Arts and where to go on holiday now that the plebs have discovered those ‘hidden gems’. However as, under health and safety legislation, I do not have the appropriate equipment to get them home safely I’m afraid I have to give them a miss. Considering that an entire rainforest has been felled to print one copy – I would fear for my poor back if I was foolish enough to try and handle them manually!

So, I thought I would share today’s lessons with you, so we can all feel the benefit.

* Viagra is now being used to help treat certain lung diseases. I can only marvel at a drug that can have two uses with complete opposite effects – one to leave you breathless and one to ease your breathing, this is modern medicine at its finest!

* Splashing vinegar on a jellyfish sting stops the pain almost immediately. I have to say that I am now slightly confused. I heard a seminar on this a few years ago courtesy of Friends – it was recommended on there that you persuade a close friend to urinate on the affected area. Now I’m not sure which I should choose, but as I rarely take a bottle of vinegar to the beach, I think I only have one option.

* The growing trend in plastic surgery is women requesting that their nipples are made permanently erect. I can’t help thinking that it would be just as effective, and a lot cheaper, if these women simply made sure they had a permanent supply of portable ice cubes with them!

* A massage parlour (read brothel) in Brighton has spent £3,000 on improving its disabled access for customers. If they are serious about trying to improve their business and attract new customers, maybe they should consider a range of special offers. They could start a loyalty scheme with a fancy card and points you could redeem for treats and maybe a Buy One, Get One Free promotion – it may do wonders. On the other hand, if they are trying to be seen as the equality brothel, maybe they should propose a tempting offer to social workers to move over to them, they could then cover a whole new clientele.

* A popular use of myspace is to test a partner’s loyalty and fidelity. Ooo, a honeytrap with a geeky side. Gone are the days when women (and men!) had to rely on their inbuilt detective skills, we now have technology to aid us. Is it just me, or is anyone else quite scared about this? A bunny to boil anyone?

* Jordan and Peter Andre’s sex life is better than ever since the birth of their daughter. I am so happy now I know this. I have to admit this has caused me some concern, but now that I have been reassured I can sleep easily again.

So there we have the main lessons for today. Please take note and try to remember them, there may be a test later.

Oh, and for anyone who’s interested, my horoscopes have assured me that both love and luck are just round the corner. I am so happy, but considering they’ve been telling me this for the last 27 years, I’m not going to hold my breath…

What did you say?

Have you ever been in the situation where someone has said something that has sounded so plausible, that you haven’t realised what they’ve actually said until it’s too late? Agnes Mildew’s post on Hex My Ex reminded me of a situation that happened with Mr Playmate.

This was when we used to work together. We had been off training for the day and were on the long journey home. It was much further way from where we usually train, so Mr Playmate had driven.

The sun was beginning to set and as we were driving along, Mr Playmate suddenly said to me “Look, it’s a full sun”.

Dutifully looking at the sun, I saw that it was and agreed with him.

Silence.

Cue me, five minutes later, suddenly sitting up straight and saying “But it’s always a full sun”.

Mr Playmate looked me in the eye (very dangerous when driving – don’t do it) and said “I know”.

And began to laugh.

A lot.

I can be a bit stupid sometimes about really basic things. It’s like my brain just doesn’t kick into gear. As he had said it in such a plausible manner, I didn’t pick up on what he had actually said. I should have known and been paying attention. Mr Playmate will happily trip me up where he can.

Normal service will resume shortly

I only have a few words to say.

Sponsored walk today.

Slightly sunburnt.

Blisters on blisters.

Very tired, but enjoyed it and, though I didn’t do the 15 miles, I’m proud of myself.