Wednesday, July 29, 2015

School Holiday Ramblings No 2

There's no other way to say it. I had a miserable day yesterday when my pet chicken, Miss Agatha, died.

She was a chicken like no other. For a start, she had a partially severed claw which, no doubt, was the reason why she was the only West Sussex available at the farm we purchased her from. 

She also thought she was a cockerel. 

Which was slightly problematic. Especially, if you're expecting a nice placid hen who makes an occasional cluck and generally behaves herself.

So Miss Agatha was definitely not a well-behaved hen. Every morning for the last four and a half years she woke me at the crack of dawn with her loud cock-a-doodling. In fact, she would cock-a-doodle anytime she fancied some attention. (Which was a lot and particularly when in pursuit of luxury food items.) She was tenacious, stubborn and had no fear. She would chase off cats and other birds no matter what their size.

As the years passed, Miss Agatha would wander inside our home with increasing regularity. Her first stop was usually the kitchen where she would eat Mr Bond's cat food whilst he looked on with a variety of looks indicating his deep despair/loathing/false nonchalance/hunger. She would then saunter off to examine the rest of the house. On one occasion I found her laying an egg under my duvet and, on another occasion, on my pillow. Recently, she had taken to laying her eggs in an old cat basket in the lounge. For a housewife with an aversion to cleaning, Miss Agatha's mission to make my house even dirtier was my worst nightmare come true. (On the plus side it did lead to a jump in share prices for antiseptic toilet wipes.)

Nevertheless, despite the fact Miss Agatha was stir-crazy and determined to drive me insane it was pretty difficult not to get attached to her. She had a personality as big as any human's and, frankly, it was a lot bigger than that of some folks I've known.

I'm gonna miss her. Even the cock-a- doodling. (Maybe not the 4am stuff though.)

You know, I might write a children's story about Agatha sometime. Agatha immortalised on paper. I think she's kinda like that. I think I'll call it The Adventures of Miss Agatha Turley, Chicken Extraordinaire.




Even Mr T and Mr Bond had given up protesting at Miss Agatha's
campaign for world domination.


Monday, July 27, 2015

School Holiday Ramblings No 1

So the school holidays are upon us. The best thing about this is I don't get hypertension trying to get the boys to school on time and the bad thing is I am doing even more driving than usual. This is not good for the life expectancy of hedgehogs, rabbits and low-flying pigeons.

So we are now into the second week of the holidays and the boys and I are in the midst of their summer tennis campaign. In between the driving and competing I am trying to manage my publishing endeavours, write and do all those other things that mothers are supposed to do. (Excluding ironing which I try to avoid as much as possible - it's the feminist in me.)

And the rest of the time I am trying to catch-up with the TV series Ashes to Ashes  which I highly recommend, especially if you want a taste of less politically correct UK in the 1980s and surreal drama, or string tennis rackets. Master Jacob, in particular, has a beast of a forehand and even though he is now restringing most of his rackets himself such is his skill at breaking tennis strings I still have to chip-in and string some when we are pressed for time. Stringing tennis rackets is mind-numbingly boring but unfortunately requires a lot of concentration otherwise it can all go pear-shaped. (Which in my case is quite often.) In fact I would go so far as to say that stringing rackets is a job that makes ironing seem almost pleasurable.

Almost I said. Almost.

And before anyone asks - yes that is vast layers of dust on the stringing machine. Dusting and me do not
go together. Rather like the ironing and cooking.



Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Truly Awful Poem

It annoys me when I have to be polite
And sound all erudite
When I want to be rude
Stick my fingers up and be crude
It's such a pain being an English Rose
Who would never pick her nose*
Sometimes I want to say naughty words
And call people nerds
But I don't
Cos I'm nice
And always think twice**
I also write particularly bad poems
Not even half as good as Wilfred Owen.
Who was very unlucky and got shot
Whereas I have just lost the plot



*in public
** only sometimes


Friday, July 10, 2015

My Analysis of Recent Articles at The Guardian

Blimey, I haven't even had time to write my list of lost things yet and The Guardian are already banging on about feminism again. Apparently, it's not okay to call women "girls" but it okay to call men "boys."

Surely, there's more to life than that to complain about? I can think of some really big issues worth having a rant about. I could even make up some stories to rant about. Maybe about something I've lost. (Not a ring obviously - see last post.) How about when I lost my virginity? That's got to be a hell of a lot more interesting to just about everyone including feminists and misogynists.

Anyway, I am happy if a man wants to call me a "girl." The fact that he would probably be 95 years old, blind and suffer from senile dementia is irrelevant - it would still make me feel young and sexy.

The Guardian are also whinging about the niceness of the Royal Christening photos today. What bores. Anyway, I can't take that article seriously as it's written by someone who is clearly an Elvis impersonator.

Anyway, being an expert in analysis I have created this pie chart so you can easily see for yourselves what is happening lately at The Guardian.



Tuesday, July 7, 2015

What the hell is going on at The Guardian?

For the benefit of you folks abroad, I must first explain that The Guardian is meant to be a bastion of British newspaper intellectual reading. However, of late, I've had some weird clickbait stuff feeding into my Facebook stream which has caused me to react rather like this:

"What the heck? Did I click on The Daily Mail in error? Oh crap. I didn't. It is The Guardian."

"No really? Another article on feminism?"

"Hmm. What? Another article on Jeremy Clarkson and Top Gear? "

"Okay. This definitely looks like a clickbait article. Let me see...uh-huh...okay...so sexual deviancy in feminists is fashionable. Hmm...where's that link to The Daily Mail?"

"Hmm. What another article on Tim Hunt? Leave the man alone, he's a nobel prize winner. He made a poor joke - he didn't massacre innocent babies! I'm going to stick my head in a bowl of sand in a minute. But first, I'll have a quick look at the culture section..."

"Oh God. Not another article by Matt Haig on depression. Yes, yes I know it's good to have these things out in the open but, come on, some of us authors are trying to be upbeat about not selling like E L James. We don't need kicking when we're down!"

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh... another and another article about Fifty Shades. Noooooooooooo!"

Okay so you get my drift?

So you see all that repetitive stuff at The Guardian has been getting on my nerves. However, none of those articles, which even if a bit repetitive are generally well written with an informative or intellectual stance, can compare to THIS article I read a couple of days ago. I suggest you pop over and read it.

Done yet?

Wake up now.

I said WAKE UP.

Yep, it's official. That article is the dullest article in the history of British newspapers. Basically, to sum up - a woman loses a ring, finds it, loses it again and then finds it.

That's the sort of ludicrous crap you read on my blog. (But hopefully a tad more entertaining.)

Anyway, I hereby crown the author of the piece with my newly created Mrs Turley Awards for Writing as the winner in the "Dullest Writer of the Decade" category.

Let's pray to God (and to Buddha, Zeus, Jehovah, John Lennon and Kevin Pietersen) that Mr Turpin never writes a work of fiction. 

To think Tolkien wrote 4 epic awe-inspiring books about a lost ring. Obviously, Mr Turpin didn't take any influence from Tolkien. I'm not sure where Mr Turpin might have taken his influence from - maybe he was just sitting on the bog and couldn't think of anything but shit? So that was all that came out?

Okay, I'd better drop this subject now or people will think I am a meanie.

However, I will be back tomorrow with a list of all the things I have lost. It may be a substansial list.

Correction. It will be a substantial list.

The editorial team asleep at The Guardian.  It took me a while but I finally figured out how Mr Turpin got his article printed - he must have gone for an job interview and was asked to read a piece of his work. The editorial team duly fell asleep when they heard the ring story and Mr Turpin dashed in and uploaded it to the website whilst the rest of the staff were watching Wimbledon. It was, of course, a bit daring of Mr Turpin to come up with something as devious as that, but then again, it's a lot quicker than writing a sequel to The Lord of the Rings.


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A New All Time Low for The Housewife Extraordinaire

Oh dear, dear, dear, readers, something terrible has happened in the Turley household and put my position as Housewife Extraordinaire up for serious review.

Now some time ago, I had to replace my washing machine. I can't remember exactly when that was so I reckon that's well over a year ago and probably closer to two years.

And last week the Good Mr T pointed out to me that, for all that time, I had only been putting the clothes onto wash on the rinse cycle.

I haven't, in fact, washed any clothes properly with detergent for nearly two years.

Oh God. This is a new low for me. That'll teach me to read instruction manuals without my glasses.

The funny this is I had noticed that some of Master Jacob's sweaty tennis shirts had come out of the machine not quite as fragrant as I'd expected. Unfortunately, I had put this down to the synthetic nature of the shirts. I'd even noticed that there didn't appear to much (or any in fact) soap suds in the machine. However, it still didn't click.

Anyway, it turns out it with there was nothing wrong with the tennis shirts or the quality of the detergent it was just my gross incompetence.

Mr T hasn't filed for divorce yet. But he has taken his shirts to the launderette.


Mr T's new attire. Don't you just hate it when someone keeps labouring a point?

Friday, June 12, 2015

Podcast excerpt of The Changing Room read by Simon Denham

Summer is upon us. (Well until about 10pm tonight when the thunderstorms and torrential downpours are due.) So I am out in the garden erecting fences with Mr T who is driving me mad off work.

An author's job is never done. Sigh. Expect the sequel to my novel in about 2020.

In the meantime, here is a excerpt of The Changing Room read by Simon Denham of Readers in the Know, a place where you can find lots of books that you might never otherwise discover. Simon reads from a selection of the books from Readers in the Know and you can find his frequent podcasts on itunes. If you sign up for notifications for books and offers via Readers in the Know there is also the opportunity to win a $100.00. Yay! That's my kind of competition - no having to think up a 25 word byline for a product you have no interest in. Just stick your name into a draw! What's not to like?

You can also follow Readers in the Know via Facebook.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt!


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I wish I was Jason Statham

Wouldn't it be fantastic to be Jason Statham?

Now the reason I am saying this is because I don't like to be a depressed author so I'd rather pretend to be someone else if that stops me sinking into one of those boozy morbid phases authors are known for. Now there are a good many reasons why an author might be depressed, even one as buoyant as me. I might list some of those reasons in detail one day. However, yesterday was one of those days when I had to do some therapeutic acting. Yep, I pretended I was Jason Statham pulverizing some no-good con artist into a pulp. (In my imagination obviously - Mr T wouldn't be too happy about me kicking his butt and demolishing the kitchen)

Rather like this:



Now you may wonder what brought on this rather bizarre behaviour.

Well, it was because yesterday I discovered that one of my books which had been won in a book giveaway and which I had sent to the winner (personally inscribed and beautifully gift-wrapped) was for sale on Ebay.

I was as a mad as hell. Oh yes.

Now I was kinda hoping that my short story collection was going to a book lover who might even enjoy my stories enough to review them. Sadly, that was the not case. The winner was obviously someone who enters numerous competitions and sells his winnings off to line his own pockets.  Unfortunately, this revelation came on the back of discovering that my books (and indeed many other authors' books) are being illegally used all over the net on scam/piracy sites to con readers out of the personal details, infect computers or defraud authors of earnings.

Oh, and let's not forget the book reviewers who supposedly can't get their digital files to work, request an Amazon copy from you and instantly return it so they can fleece money out of you. They probably don't think we notice - but we do.

Anyway, let's not go into all the sordid details. It's not a pretty place. Let's just stick to this latest incident. Now I mentioned what I discovered yesterday on one of my writing forums and some of my writing friends took a very liberal view and said this particular gentleman night well be selling my book for charity or simply because he'd run out of room on his book shelves. One even quoted Francis of Assisi to me.

Obviously I have some very generous-spirited writer friends. Kudos to them for them for being so kind-hearted. Unfortunately, I am a bit more of a cynic.

The bottom line is authors are getting ripped-off all over the net. There is a whole industry scamming authors and very few authors are in the position to do anything about it without investing a lot of time and money. The lack of morals among some of these scam artists is truly astounding. Perhaps the success of authors like J K Rowling, Stephen King and E L James has left the impression that all authors are flush with cash when the truth is the exact opposite. In fact, most authors have virtually no income at all from their writing and support themselves with other jobs or are supported by partners or live on the breadline. But this is more than about loss of income. It is about the sheer lack of respect for the law and for authors who may have taken years honing their skills and writing their novels. It's callous, selfish, illegal and immoral behaviour. Obviously my latest experience was not illegal one - but it still leaves a very bitter taste in my mouth.

So a word of warning for anyone who thinks becoming an author is a one way ticket to fame and fortune - it's not. Do not go into publishing unless you a have a very,very thick skin. Because I assure you - you will need it. Be prepared to be rejected, humiliated, scammed and cold-shouldered more times than you can ever imagine.

Anyway, yesterday was a bit of a milestone for me. I decided I am going to start fighting back. So the first thing I am gonna do is write a movie script where the lead role is a frustrated author (played by Jason Statham) who take his kick-ass revenge on pirates, scammers and sour-puss reviewers who fleece money and books out of authors with no intention of ever reviewing.  I haven't decided what the title will be yet but here's some possibilities:

Trial by Author.

Kick-Ass Author

Revenge of the Unholy Author

The Author and The AK47 Submachine Gun

Lethal Author

Taken (by an Author)

Fuck You Mother-Fucker Scammer

The Expendables 4 -  The Book of Judgement. (Statham, Stallone, Schwarzenegger take on a piracy cartel and shoot the fuck out of them.)

Well you get the idea. It'll probably start something like this:




Now just to end with I want to thank all of you who have purchased, reviewed or sent me messages about my books. Without you it would be hard to keep up my enthusiasm for writing. I truly appreciate you support.

The music in the video is Volatile Reaction by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
Thank you, Kevin.

*Usual Mrs T mania will resume shortly*

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gimme a by-line

So last week was half term in the UK and I was out and about with the boys attending tennis tournaments and cricket matches so not a lot of writing was done. In fact, a big fat zero! However, in between all the dashing around I did spot this at the bottom of my drive.


I need evidence.

It rather tickled me. Someone at Sky obviously has a sense of humour - or they're very overconfident about their customer service. You'd never see a statement like that on a BT (British Telecommunications) van - it would cause riots in the streets.

Now here's my question to you:

What should the by-line be on a British Telecommunications (BT) van? Expect some answers from me in due course. In the meantime, for a Mrs T BT rant, I suggest reading this post.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Into the Depths of Darkness

A few weeks ago you may recall that I recounted the story of Johnny Potato VC - a potato I found in the dark depths of Master Benedict's rucksack.

Now, dear readers, I must own up to being a slack mother because after discovering the potato I looked no further - I was so distraught/gobsmacked/ashamed to look any further. Until this morning. When I discovered this:

A tube of Morrison's tomato puree which has, obviously, seen better days.
It's a miracle Master Benedict has not caught bubonic plaque.

But that's not all I found. Oh no. I am afraid the contents of Master Benedict's bag were gross beyond all imagination. Everything was stuck together in a tangled mess of decomposing food, mangled paper, bottles, wrappers and some hideous gooey stuff.

Down in one corner I found this:
I know you're asking yourself - what is it? That, my friends, is the box in which Master Benedict keeps
his gum shield. It's stuck to a decomposing food wrapper. I know, I know - it's almost inconceivable he would
actually remove anything from that box and stick it in his mouth - but then again he's a teenager and oral hygenine isn't
at the top f his agenda. 

Oh amongst all the crap I also found this:

That is a door safety chain and a packet of decomposing food  - I've know idea what kind of food as it is unrecognisable - as were the decaying (I think) sandwiches. Still, at least it's still in the packet as opposed to all the other stuff...

You know, when I lifted the door chain out of Master Benedict's bag some really terrible thoughts crossed my mind.  

Had Master Benedict mugged a granny on her doorstep? 

Was he planning to barricade himself in his bedroom and play Call of Duty for a month?

Or perhaps he planning to lock me in my study and therefore subject people all around the world to a merciless barrage of overwrought blogging? 

Anyway, luckily, just as I was ringing social services and musing over the potential ramifications of Master Benedict's diabolical plans, he informed me that he had made the safety chain in craft and design lessons at school.

To which I say..

Why can't they make something useful in those lessons?

Like a Porsche Carrera.

Why is it that they always make something you don't need? Like a three-legged stool that no one but Rumpelstiltskin would use. Or a necklace moulded out of metal which is so heavy that if you wore it would look like you'd had a stroke. Or a hand-stitched napkin that looks someone has vomited on it?

Why I ask you? Why? What drugs are all these craft and design teachers on?

Anyway folks, you know what the discovery of the tomato puree means? It means that very shortly I will have to continue the story of Johnny Potato VC. You can read about my discovery of Johnny Potato HERE and part one of his true (cough, cough) story HERE.

See you soon!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Personal Picture Post

Well I don't normally do these kind of intimate posts. But today is an exception. This is because I was up in our loft room having a bit of a tidy-up and came across some old photos of me and thought Yippee-Do I can make a quick blog post of this! (Sincerity is my middle name.) 

So folks, this will be a deeply revealing pictorial post about me rather than a written one which really is rather lucky for you lot cos normally deeply revealing blog posts from writers involve hideous tales about depression, failed relationships and fifteen-year struggles to publish debut novels after twenty billion rejection letters and amputation below the knee.

Or something like that anyway.

So lets get on with it!

One of my more flattering shots taken at Halloween around 2006/7. Not many children come
to visit me anymore. I am so sad about that.
Evidence that my ability to burn anything started a long, long time ago. This was me on my birthday which fell on a Shrove Tuesday in around 1984.
Me and Mr T at a New Year's Party back in the early 2000s. I made the masks which drew favourable comparisons to
our real selves....

God I look good. This one was taken in about 2004 when obviously I still looked hot and had pert breasts.

I'm on the left in the leopard skin. Pulling faces is second nature to me. Here it was at university
in a production of The Country Wife in about 1984/5

So there you have it. A deeply revealing post featuring some of my most photogenic shots.

Ho hum.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Hotel Horrors and Birthday Books

So after a few days break from blogging and the A to Z challenge, I'm back!

Now for some of those days I was transfixed by the TV coverage of the UK General Election, but for another three days I was at a tennis tournament with Master Benedict during which I spent two nights in a rather grubby hotel in London.

"Grubby" seems a suitable description for that hell-hole of a place. In fact, I could spend the whole blog whinging about it. Briefly; the shower only had two settings (freezing cold/scalding hot) which was made even more difficult to regulate because the handle fell off, the room keys didn't work, two of our rooms were in another building, they didn't take credit cards and (horror upon horrors) there was no bacon and tomato ketchup at breakfast. However, instead of whinging too much and boring the pants of you all I shall sum the experience with this short tale...

After discovering that the keys to the rooms didn't work, I went back to the reception whereupon they gave me new keys with this parting throwaway line:

"Oh by the way, there might be trouble in the room in between your rooms tonight."

Yes, that's right, the hotel had not only booked half the team in another building but also with a room in between them where some delinquents were apparently going to be hanging out and partying all night. Because, as the hotel receptionist knowingly told me, "They knew this kind of thing."

Now I am not sure if I was meant to be impressed by this worldly knowledge but at that moment I turned from the polite and patient Housewife Extraordinaire that I normally am into a vitriolic middle-age woman with a forked tongue.

I don't normally lose my rag. But when I am told that my team might be disturbed by rowdy part-goers I kinda thought that the hotel ought to be speaking to the occupants of the offending rooms, and not me, about the protocols of staying in a hotel.

Ugh. What can I say? London's changed a lot since I lived there. And not all of it for the better.

Anyway, now I've got that whine over with ... I can continue with another! Last Thursday, son No 1 came home to cast his vote in the General Election and to give me a book as a belated birthday present. The book was this one:


Now I am rather partial to thrillers so I quickly flipped it over and read the blurb which was not the usual format and consisted of some lines taken from the book:

"Your mother...She's not well...She's been imagining things - terrible, terrible things...."

"Everything that man has told you is a lie. I'm not mad....I need the police."

"None of what she claims is real."

"If you refuse to believe me, I will no longer consider you my son...."

At which point I wondered if the gift was a subliminal message. I duly raised my concerns with Young Sam who merely laughed.

Hmm.

I wonder what I'll get for my B-day next year? I have a feeling it won't be bath salts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blogging A to Z: Y is for that Bloody Awful Noise Otherwise Known as "Yodelling"

What I want to know is how do people in Austria and Germany live with all that unbearable yodelling echoing down the mountains, blasting around your head and giving you 24 hour non-stop migraines?

It's no wonder Hitler was insane. No doubt he spent a tortured youth being subjected to hours of incessant yodelling. It must have been like having severe tinnitus whilst simultaneously having your head trapped between two cymbals.

You know, I'm really surprised some great historian like A J P Taylor never came up with yodelling as a suggestion for the cause of Hitler's insanity.

So I'm going to change all that today. Now my historical credentials are excellent as I have a degree in History and this means that no one can challenge my expertise (much). The fact that I haven't looked at a history book for thirty years should be not be an issue as, luckily, I read The Daily Mail which keeps me up to date with all the latest facts and historical opinions.

So, in my capacity as a historical expert, on this day, April 29th 2015, I am putting my theory out to the world.

Hitler was driven insane in his youth by merciless and relentless high-pitched yodelling.

As proof of this I am now going to use musical evidence in support of my claim.




You can easily see from this video how yodelling causes insanity as the gentlemen starring in it has taken to wearing a chimney brush on his head and wearing trousers that are too small for him.

Now in Britain this sort of attire would lead in to incarceration in a lunatic asylum. In Germany and Austria is it leads to madness and an obsession with world domination.

So there you have it - my theory proven. I await my Nobel Peace Prize for research in due course.



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blogging A to Z: X is for X the Kissable Letter

It's time for one of those really tricky letters;

X

Now in order to get some inspiration for this post, I went onto one of those online dictionaries to look at words beginning with X. Sadly, this left me rather depressed as I didn't know most of them which is a tad embarrassing because, at my age, I should probably know more x words other than Xmas and xylophone. Anyway since it's nearly 11pm and I am too lazy old to absorb new information, I've decided  I'm going to simplify the matter and just talk about the letter X all by itself! Hurrah. I love keeping things simple!

Okay, so X  by itself is often used as an abbreviation for "Kiss". Sometimes girlfriends end their texts, emails and letters with a X as a sign of affection but they never do that with a man unless they are in luvvvvvvv - otherwise it might give a man the wrong idea which might be a bit tricky if he turns out to be a Justin Bieber fan. Sometimes when women are really, really in luvvvvvv they do even more crazy things like this:

This picture was drawn by a very, very sad and obsessed woman.who absolutely,
 definitely , 100% positively bears no resemblance to me whatsoever. 


X is also used as an abbreviation for the saying "X marks the spot" which is a way of identifying a particular place. For example, X would mark the site of a treasure chest on a map.

Similarly, I have an X on the front of Mr T's cheque book, his share certificates and his life insurance policy.

X is also used as a signature if you can't sign you name. I have seen this done twice. The first time was when I worked in a shop and a customer needed to sign their name on a receipt. The second time was at a pub when UKIP leader Nigel Farage was signing his tab. (That's a bill behind the bar.) I was surprised Nigel could only put an X on the tab but, then again, he was standing next to Labour leader, Ed Miliband who had put an "O" on his tab. Maybe Nigel thought he was being clever? Hmm. You know, it might have been a Westminster night-on-the-town as David Cameron and Nick Clegg were playing Paper, Stones and Scissors across the otherside of the room and the leader of the Scottish National Party was wearing a funny skirt and blowing raspberries.

Anyway, it will come as no surprise to my UK readers that our MPs ( Members of Parliament) and politicians get up to all sorts of tricks when they're relaxing, especially on Fridays, now that we have taken up the US tradition of "Dress Down Friday" where folks relax a little at work by wearing casual clothes. Anyway, I found a picture of Nigel Farage on the last Dress Down Friday. I thought you might like to see it.



So that concludes my X post. Only two more letters to go. Since I haven't had much time to read other blogs and comment during the A-Z challenge I plan to catch-up on after the challenge is over. In the meantime, it's good night from Nigel and it's good night from me.

Good night. 

X

Monday, April 27, 2015

Blogging A to Z: W is for W Words That Really Annoy Me


Wizard

Whenever I hear the word "wizard" my brain goes numb. But if I hear it in combination with any of the following words: "Harry Potter," "Hermoine," Ron Weasley and "Dumbledore" I pray for spontaneous combustion. If I never see or hear the word "wizard" again it will be too soon.

Weight Watchers

Ugh. For obvious reasons.

Wig.

A word which strikes terror in every living women.

Warhammer

Warhammer is a war game played with model soldiers that cost an absolute fortune and is mind-numbingly boring on a par with Monopoly (see my "M" post.) The manufacturers of Warhammer also have the audacity to sell the soldiers unfinished which means long-suffering parents of Warhammer addicts have to spend hours gluing the ruddy pieces together or sponging paint off the furniture.

Dire Avenger Shrine Web Bundle
Warhammer - the game every parent loves to hate.

Wehrmacht

No particular reason. *cough, cough*

Whiskers

I dislike them on men. I dislike them even more on myself. When people mistake you for Popeye it can be very dispiriting.

Wobbly

A word that has unpleasant connotations and is often used in conjunction with descriptions of my derriere.

Weak

A word that you increasingly grow to despise as you get older as it crops up in lots of forms and precedes lots of words. For example: weak spot, weak knees, weak heart, weak eyesight and worst of all - weak bladder.

Withdrawal

A deeply unsatisfying word. Not one I like to use often.

Wittgenstein.

Because you know that as soon as anyone says "Wittgenstein" they are going to be the most boring dinner guest ever.

Why?

A word that has too many associations with small children, earache and painful car journeys.

Wifi

A word which I closely associate with British Telecommunications (BT) and which has the ability to cause week-long migraines and suicidal thoughts.

Whippet

A legitimate word but unfortunately, if it is interpreted wrongly, can land you in serious trouble.

Wrinkle

A word that grows on you but not in a good way.


You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Blogging A to Z: V is for Voters and Voting

So let's talk about voters and voting because it's been an interesting time lately in the US with Hillary Clinton announcing she is going to run for the presidency and in the UK where we are on the countdown to the next general election on May 7th.

In the US it is going to be fascinating to see how women vote and whether Hillary's gender will influence the way people vote in the same way that colour appeared to do so in the election of Barack Obama. Here in the UK, we are one step ahead in our recognition of female politicians with the reign of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister between May 1979 and November 1990. Mrs Thatcher's policies divided the nation and, over twenty years later, their legacies still ignite the most furious and vitriolic debates. However, there's no doubt, that whatever the disputes, Mrs Thatcher will remain one of the most significant politicians of the twentieth century. Her legacy as a women who challenged the status quo and won is even greater.

Embracing change, whether it is on a personal level or as a society or nation is not always easy. We only need to look at the history of feminism and slavery to see that the path to change is often bloody and difficult. Here in UK it is evident we are in a period of political change - the last election resulted in the first full coalition since Churchill's wartime government. And now, as we face another election, no one can predict the outcome with any certainty.

This political uncertainty demonstrates how British voters are aware of the need for change even if they have not yet determined the way forward. Of course, some are focussed on personal circumstances but I think far more are also aware that as a nation, and as a global community, we need to recognise and respond to the increasing inequalities in the distribution of wealth and resources, the consequences of overpopulation and the growing certainty of climate change.

Personal and political change are two of the most consistent themes in my novel The Changing Room (hence the title). In the story, my heroine, Sandy Lovett, deals with personal loss and in doing so rediscovers the political beliefs that lay dormant in her years as mother and carer. Subsequently, when she stands for election to parliament it is a reflection, not just of her personal need to change and add value to her life, but also the need to change and contribute to society.

So to get back to the theme of voters and voting. I think it is very important that voters make themselves heard. In the last general election 65.1% of the electorate voted - but that means 35% did NOT vote and nothing makes me madder than people who moan about politicians and then cannot be bothered to vote. I don't endorse the Russell Brand school of thought that not voting is the surest way of showing public discontent and forcing change. I think it it is foolish to think the status quo will change that way in a democratic society and, unless Brand wants to incite bloody revolution, then the only way forward is to make politicians more aware, and more accountable, through the ballot box.

Like many people in the UK I have lost a lot of respect for politicians over the course of my life. Mrs Thatcher, whether you agreed with policies or not, at least commanded respect. Sadly, some of our recent politicians have been involved in seedy financial and sexual scandals beyond what any of us would consider accidental or affairs of the heart - and here is where our change must start. We need to vote into parliament dedicated men and women of integrity and honor. We need to vote into power men and women who, individually, are capable of putting their differences aside and working with others, if need be by negotiation at a shared table. We need to vote into power men and women who truly understand and accept the responsibilities their job entails and are committed to working for the good of every man, woman and child in this country and the wider world.

Your vote is your voice. Whether you live in the UK, the US or anywhere else, please use it.

(Normal silly service will resume on Monday with the letter W.)

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

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Friday, April 24, 2015

Blogging A to Z: U is for U Cannot be Serious and Uranus

Now I've been thinking over the blogging A to Z posts I've done so far and I've realised they've been a bit...well...how can I say it? Um...

Slipshod. And unintellectual.

Yes, that about sums it up. I think I peaked with the lazy posts yesterday because I actually fell asleep whilst writing my T is for for Thongs post. (That's completely true.) And I woke up at 11.24 pm and all I'd written was a couple of lines and posted a picture. So then I had to find a way to finish the blog post as quickly as I could before I missed the 12pm deadline.

So anyway, I feel a bit embarrassed by my lackadaisical manner especially as, on the occasions I've hopped around some of the other participating blogs, I've found some highly intellectual and informative posts.

So I've decided that tonight I should write something intellectual too. So I'm going to write about Uranus!

Okay, so Uranus is pretty big and round. It has lots of gas and is surrounded by rings.

Pretty interesting stuff eh?

Now to study it further it would really help if you all could now get yourself a partner and we'll get down to the details.

Now, this next bit is a little delicate but it will really help in understanding all about Uranus - so please get your partner to drop their trousers and bend over. If you're a sad and lonely person and haven't got a partner or a friend you can use a mirror.

Now put on some rubber gloves and get some vaseline at the ready.

 Oh excuse me for a moment, folks. Master Jacob (he's the sensible son) wants a word in my ear.

What?

No really?

U cannot be serious.

Well that's not what I was taught at school.

You're sure?

A 100% sure?

You're absolutely sure you're 100% sure?

Yes yes, you can have the last jam doughnut.

Okay folks, I'm back. And I am a tad embarrassed. I'm afraid Master Jacob has told me that I have been misinformed and that Uranus is ..well...not what I thought it was ...it's actually a planet. Like Mars and Saturn. I thought it was well...well...uranus.

Oh gosh. I don't know how I didn't know this at my age. Although it does explain why my science teacher threw me out of a lesson once when she asked me to show her Uranus and I obliged. I thought she was just one of those mad menopausal teacher types - you know the ones - with Jesus sandals and a fetish for artificial sweetner.

Oh dear, dear, dear. I shall have to try and do better tomorrow. I shall have to do something really intellectual tomorrow to make up for today.

I know!

I'll do a post on Venus. I've got lots of knowledge about Venus.

Uranus as seen by Voyager 2
Master Jacob tells me this Uranus. It looks like a ping pong ball to me. 
You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blogging A to Z: T is for Thongs

Brace yourselves, readers. This could be a shocking post, especially if you have delicate sensibilities, as I have been asked to write about a rather intimate subject.

Thongs.


In particular, I have been asked to write about this one:

As you can see it is a male thong. Well I think so.  It looks like an extra small size though which means it can't
hold anything much bigger than a pork chipolata,

Now, first of all, I have to state the obvious and what every respectable woman would say.

OH. DEAR. GOD.

Secondly, I have to say:

IS THIS FOR REAL?

Thirdly:

PASS ME THE BUCKET.

And finally, should you want this thong it is for sale, made to order, on Ebay in the US and so far the retailer has sold 94.

And now I must go to sleep with that disturbing that thought that there are 94 men who own this product.

I may have nightmares tonight.


You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

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