Saturday, April 12, 2014

I must be more disciplined!

Oh God, things are spiralling out of control in my study again. How do I be more disciplined?

How, dear readers, how?

It's not that my mess really bothers me as I've an ability to "zone-out" from it which I'm putting down to my creative mind. Mr T, however, puts it down to some other aspects of my character. (None of which are repeatable on this blog.)  Nevertheless, despite Mr T's slur upon my character, I am a good wife and I can't help being worried about the effect it is is having on him. Lately, every time he comes into my study (which fortunately is not often) he has started gagging. In fact, the last time he ventured forth when he started to gag I immediately ran to help the boys check the insurance certificate.

But, it's true, I could do with being a lot more disciplined. I would be far more productive as a writer if I could be more organised. Other writers are knocking out self-help manuals and novels at the rate of about three a year - at the moment the only manual I could write is "How Not to Write a Self-Help Manual" - which would just contain a blank page.

So below is a picture of my desk as it is this morning. I am not showing you the rest of the room. I leave that to your imagination because, believe me, it is utter chaos. I should also point out that I removed the excess cups (of which there are usually at least 6-8) last night. I'm not sure how many there was but, in addition to the ones on my desk, there was a whole row on the window sill and I ran out of room on the top drawer of the dishwasher and had to use the bottom one as well.

Gulp.

Okay, I need some advice on how to organise myself. Anybody care to offer or shall I just check myself into the looney bin now?

There's probably not a lot I can say about this except - "Oh shit"



Friday, April 11, 2014

Breaking News On The London Book Fair

There were no literary agents under thirty-five without waistcoats at The London Book Fair.

There were no publishers under thirty-five without waistcoats and glasses at The London Book Fair.

There was a very dishy science-fiction writer (closer to forty though) without a waistcoat and glasses with whom I had a very nice chat. (Which luckily didn't involve any techno-babble about space ships and fantasy worlds - otherwise I would have shot him.)

However, stupidly, I forgot to get his name.

So Mr T is safe again. No doubt he is counting his blessings.

Okay, I am just joking about the waistcoats. Literary agents don't always wear them. Just some of the time. It's called style.

Apparently.

Two people without waistcoats. Amazing. Look at that title above where it says London Book Fair. It reads "Books opening the mind. Doors opening the future."
I'm pretty sure my book A Modern Life has opened a few minds - but probably closed a few doors. Hum.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

School Holidays 2 and the London Book Fair


Mrs T:   Master Jacob, would you please unload the dishwasher and tidy the kitchen whilst I'm out?

Master Jacob:   What is this? Nazis Germany?

Where have I gone wrong, readers? Where?

On another matter entirely, I have a ticket to go to the London Book Fair and if I feel it's safe to leave the Young Masters with an unstacked dishwasher I may leave them to their own devices. I may not have a home to come back to but it may be a risk worth taking.

Now I have decided that, if I get off my sorry arse, and go to the Book Fair later today I shall keep my eye out for:

1) A healthy young male (heterosexual) literary agent, preferably under 35, with a sense of humour. It would also be an advantage if he did not wear a chequered waistcoat.

Okay that's not going to happen.

2) A healthy young male (heterosexual) publisher, preferably under 35, with a sense of humour who does not wear a chequered waistcoat and glasses.

Hmm...even more unlikely.

3) A healthy young male (heterosexual) author, preferably under 35, with a sense of humour, who does not wear a waistcoat, glasses and who does not write science fiction.

Hmm....no *ucking chance.

Okay, I think I need to look for something more obtainable.

I know - I'll look for one of those stands where you get a free chocolate-chip cookie with the useless glossy magazine giveaway. Oh and the restroom.

The ultimate dilemma for any male literary agent. Which waistcoat?



Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The School Holidays

There are some pretty diabolical things about the school holidays. However, there is one good thing and this next sentence sums it up:

I am going back to bed.

Bliss. Wake me up in a couple of hours.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson give directions.

You have to watch the video below right to the very end, especially if you're a film buff like me. It's one of the funniest things I've seen for ages! Thanks to author, Karen Wyld, for pointing me in the right direction. I have a lot of trouble with sat navs myself - although this doesn't involve Morgan Freeman talking to me, only me talking to myself. Sad, I know.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Farewell My Young Apprentice!

Sadly, yesterday, I had to say goodbye to my young apprentice. Early readers of this blog will recall my adventures with him and will, no doubt, also be traumatised by this sad, sad news. As you would expect, I waved goodbye, tears running down my face, as my young apprentice made his way down the driveway. As he disappeared, I was choked with emotion, knowing I would never see him again.

I know you readers will share with me my overwhelming sadness, so I've decided to share with you my last keepsake photo of dear Luke Warmwater.


The picture is fuzzy because my vision was so blurred from crying I couldn't focus properly.

Yes, so there you have it. Luke Warmwater has finally passed to the great force in the sky. He has been replaced by a more more advanced model which I am calling The Emperor. I am a tad nervous about sitting on The Emperor as he spins at 1600mph which could be a little...vigorous. However, The Emperor also holds 9kg of washing, as opposed to LukeWarmwater's paltry 7kg, which to my mind makes him a force to be reckoned with.

The Emperor. He's big. He's mean. He likes things dirty.
 He's my kinda guy.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Is Amazon the new Big Brother?

Forget the NSA, forget MI5, the people really watching you are the men behind the desks at Amazon.

I swear to God Amazon knows everything about me and, since I've ordered shoes and clothes through them, those grey suits also know my foot and dress size and could probably even make a guess at the size of my botty.

They've also got a huge list of everything I've ever purchased, an even bigger list of anything I've ever looked at and, worryingly, a record of all the books on my Kindle.

Which may or may not be embarrassing.

*Whistles nonchalantly*

Now, as if this scrutiny isn't enough, I've noticed that lately Amazon has been sending me suggestions for items to purchase which don't have a lot of relation to what I've been looking for.

What's that about?

I've been thinking about it and come to the conclusion that it's almost as if someone at Amazon is deliberately trying to provoke poor Mrs T into one of her full-scale rants.

For example, if you remember, a few weeks ago there was the incident of the artist's Banksy's tablemats which got me really riled. Then, on Saturday, there was another suggestion which seemed even more perverse - a suggestion to buy tickets to a  Barry Manilow concert.

Barry Manilow ?

I say again 

Barry Manilow ?



Milton Keynes AmazonLocal.co.uk
Tickets to Barry Manilow UK Tour
Barry Manilow
Wembley Arena, London (more locations)
From
£
30
View this deal
Savings 33%
Another great deal from Amazon Local
Barry Manilow. Looking - like Barry Manilow. Well somebody has to.


Just how old do those jokers at Amazon think I am? Ninety?

Do they think I am deaf and blind?

Now I know some folks expect people over forty to be sitting in armchairs making whimsical comments about Paul McCartney or humming a funeral march but some of us actually listen to popular music. Or - to use a more hip-hop trendy term - "pop" music. In fact I am so "with it" and "in the groove" I even have striped pyjamas like Robin Thicke. In fact, I'd go so far as to say Robin was copying my style wearing that striped suit at the Grammys.

I suppose what I'm trying to say in a roundabout way is:

I would rather coat myself in nail varnish and set myself alight than go to a Barry Manilow concert.

Anyway I thought the Barry Manilow incident was bad enough until yesterday morning I got this email:


Milton Keynes AmazonLocal.co.uk
Get the Amazon Local App
Online Grammar Course
UK-TEFL
Redeem Online
£
19
View this deal
Savings 81%
Another great deal from Amazon Local


Now I know someone at Amazon really is taking the mickey.




It's April Fool's Day Today Soooooo.....

I thought why not just post a piccy of myself!

This photo has not been photo-shopped. However, I cunningly instructed the boys not to get my stomach
 or legs into the shot: a woman's got to have some pride. Admittedly, I don't have that much pride (bearing in mind I've just eaten one piece of flapjack and two chocolate chip cookies.) 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gwyneth Paltrow, Chris Martin and the Concious Uncoupling

I'm going to have to jump into the affray with the ridiculous terminology Gwyneth has assigned to her separation from Coldplay's Chris Martin.

You just know when you've heard an expression like concious uncoupling that it's been coined after a minimum of twelve weeks counselling. Most likely in a room overflowing with scented candles and where all the furniture faces east. You can also be pretty darn sure that when the terms of the conscious uncoupling have been agreed, the concious couple will have wound down with a "fun" yoga session and a dinner of spinach parcels and deep-fried Quorn.

Tasty. In a sort of bland vegetarian way.

Now, when I was vigorously researching this post (Daily Mail) I also stumbled upon this article at The New York Times. Apparently, the term concious uncoupling was not coined by Gwyneth but by a psychotherapist called Katherine Woodward Thomas who, at the time of being interviewed about her terminology, was hanging out at a spa and yoga resort.

Now there's a surprise.

No, I'm not being cynical. I am genuinely surprised. I thought it would be a kibbutz.

The thing is the term concious uncoupling reminds me of all those other daft politically correct terms we have here in the UK like Accessible Toilet (Formerly a toilet for disabled persons)  and transparent (used to mean something you could see through but now means the exact opposite. (Ho hum)

Anyway, language is a funny old thing. We all carry associations with certain words. For example:

 With the word divorce I associate:

1. Two people annulling their marriage. 
2. Tammy Wynette's 1968 hit D.I.V.O.R.C.E
3 Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor and Zsa Zsa Gabor.


With the word  separation I associate:

1. Two people living apart who will probably get a divorce.
2.  An unwrapped packet of Rolos awaiting consumption by my good self
3. Mr T opening his wallet to pay for my B-day present.

Unfortunately, with the words concious uncoupling all I can associate is:

I am quite interested to know if Galapagos giant turtles practise yoga. I may undertake some further research into this matter when I have consciously precipitated our nutriment. (Cooked tea.)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Classic Mrs T Moment

Yesterday, I had one of my "moments".

So the boys were nagging me for a McDonald's on the way back from a late-night tennis practice. So being a kind mother, we pulled into the drive-thru, ordered shakes and burgers, paid at the cash desk and pulled up at the delivery hatch. Whereupon, Master Ben requested that I asked for a sheet for him to stick on some stamps for a competition McDonald's are running to win various goodies. The assistant duly handed the sheet to me with the shakes and I hand them to Master Jacob who was sitting in the front seat.

Big mistake. Because Master Jacob has Master Ben's sheet and Master Ben has the stickers. They started to argue over who was going to stick on the stamps to win the Mini Cooper.  I closed the window, regretting I ever had children, and drove-off. After a while, Master Jacob finally relented and gave Master Ben his sheet. This is what happened next:

Master Jacob: Where's the burgers?

Mrs T: In your lap.

Master Jacob:(searches around seat) They're not.

Mrs T: I gave them to you.

Master Jacob: No, you didn't.

Mrs T: You must have dropped the bag in the footwell.

Master Jacob: (searches in the mess that is the footwell) They're not here.

Mrs T: I definitely gave them to you.

Master Jacob: No, you didn't.

Mrs T: Did I toss them over to you, Ben?

Master Ben: (searches frantically in the mess that is the rear seat) They're not here!

Mrs T: They must be. I definitely gave them to someone!

*Both boys search frantically in the dark*

Master Jacob: They're not here!

Master Ben: They're not here!

* Mrs T pulls up in the road *

Mrs T: DOES ANYONE HAVE THE BURGERS?

Master Jacob: No!

Master Ben: No!

At which point, I turn the car around we go back to the drive-thru. I park-up and go in. I go to the counter and:

Mrs T: I was at the drive-thru just now...

*All the staff turn around and look at me*

Assistant: Are you the lady with the burgers?

Mrs T: Yes

*All the staff look at me with big cheesy grins*

Mrs T (shrugs nonchalantly) That's what happens when you hit the menopause.

WARNING: Do not let you kids collect stamps. Not even to win a Mini-Cooper.


McDonald's should install exit signs which read:
 "Have you remembered your meal?"  It would help. It really would.
(Picture courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Friday, March 28, 2014

What is a Janerism?

So here's a question - what is a Janerism?

I'm not entirely sure. I'm somewhat confused. But apparently it's something I do a lot.

Now this description has been assigned to me by author, Karen Wyld, from my writer's group on Google +.

I'm slightly worried because the term reminds me of a Malapropism. Now if you've not heard of the term Malapropism before -basically it's derived from this mad old bag who was in Richard Sheridan's 1775 comedy The Rivals.

Again, I'm slightly worried.

Now, because I am a discreet and subtle person, there's not many pictures of me on the net. But I have this awful feeling that people think I look like this:
Well the hat's not far off the truth. On a cold day and with a hangover.

Or maybe they think I look like this:
Well she's a cheery looking lady. In a sort of weird stalker way.

Or maybe even this:

Hmm...maybe we're getting closer to the truth here.

Okay, I want to be entirely honest with you folks. Because that's the way I am. And currently there's the big rush of people doing selfies for breast cancer. So I figure it's time I gave you an up to date photo of me. So here I am:




As I said, I am nothing but scrupulously honest.




Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I am an author!

So I was "kind of" an author before, but now I'm on Amazon it's official isn't it?


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Modern-Life-sweet-salty-stories-ebook/dp/B00J876WVM/
I am an author!
If any of you good folks are tempted to buy and review - remember be generous in your praise - you don't want Mrs T turning into one of those depressed writerly types. That would be so not good - I've only just got over finding a hole in my tights.

At present, A Modern Life is only available on Kindle but don't forget if you have a computer, tablet or mobile you can download a Kindle App and read it that way. It will be available on other e-readers and in paperback in due course.

Enjoy!

A Modern Life on Amazon.co.uk

A Modern Life on Amazon.com



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Countdown to Publication


So recently, my ISBN (international standard book numbers) finally arrived. These are the numerical codes that identify individual books and generate the barcode that you see on the back of books. By assigning ISBN numbers to my books, it means they will appear in industry catalogues and be available for retailers to purchase. It's taken much longer to get this point than I imagined. However, it does mean that the publication of A Modern Life on Kindle is days rather than weeks away. It will follow shortly after on other e-readers and then in paperback in early April.

In between all the preparations (which being a bit brainless I had not thought through - like tax requirements, setting up a business, blah, blah, blah) I have written a new story which I am going to include as a last minute addition to my short story collection. It's called Pork Chops and Promiscuity and is about a lesbian called Judith who has a fondness for pork. Sounds daft, I know. And that's because it is daft. Still, if there's one thing I can say about my story collection - there's a lot of variety in it.  I'm hoping that amongst the thirteen stories and the opening chapter to The Changing Room there will be at least one that will appeal to individuals and which will save me from a rush of one stars on Amazon.


 I thought this was a collection of literary stories but the first story is about a lesbian with a penchant for pork chops. Are you sure it's not an article for The Daily Mail?
Unfortunately, I am starting to have nightmares about the potential reaction to my short stories. Yikes. If things get worse, I may have to see a counsellor - although I am slightly unnerved by the fact that the other night I dreamt I went to a counsellor and when he put down the copy of A Modern Life covering his face I saw he was Stephen King. It was a pretty bad nightmare - especially when I was forced to admit I'd only skimmed-read his writing guide On Writing. Luckily, I woke up just as he was about to stab me with his fountain pen.

I tried to read this book, I really, really did.  But when I got to the story about the floater in the toilet I couldn't take anymore.

This book is really disturbing. I give it one star.

This book is really, really disturbing - and there's a typo.
Look, I don't care what people's reaction are. So long as there is a reaction. As a humorist and a reviewer I am already prepared for mixed reviews.The worst thing that could possibly happen is this:

video

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Happy In Luton

I live fairly near Luton, in fact some of my most embarrassing car-parking moments have been in Luton, nevertheless when I saw this on Facebook it brought a big, big, smile to my face. Enjoy!


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Monster Images

I made the mistake a while ago of syncing the boys ipads with my computer using the icloud.

So, for anyone not familiar with Apple products, this means instead of plugging in the ipads to my computer to transfer songs, films and pictures it does it automatically. I've no idea how but it's genius. It also means I get to keep an eye on what the boys are doing in a Big Brother type of way.

Or maybe that's a Big Mother type of way.

*Looks at thighs*

Yeah, okay. It's a Big Mother type of way.

Now initially, I turned on the icloud because I was fed up of updating all our gadgets with our shared music which is stored on itunes. The Big Mother aspect only dawned on me when I started to get notifications of new photographs arriving on my computer.

These photographs were kinda shocking. (It's not what you're thinking.)

You know, I thought my Master Jacob was a handsome fella until he sent me this:

 I warned Master Jacob plenty of times about not eating his vegs and now look what's happened.

But not to out-done by his brother, Master Benedict sent me these:


Master Ben is thinking of giving up tennis and taking up Rugby Union.


 Master Ben is now available for hire in any forthcoming Disney releases
 Master Ben was hoping this picture would inspire feelings of maternal affection. It didn't work.

 Now this is actually what Master Ben looks like:




Now don't be fooled, readers. He may look innocent but he isn't. That is the expression he normally wears when he's about to deliver one of his infamous one-liners. At the moment, they tend to start with the word "Mother...."

"Mother, do you know this a 30 mph zone?"

"Mother, there is a car parked behind us."

"Mother, where are my school trousers, shirt, socks...."

"Mother, this toast is burnt."

"Mother, have you seen The Omen?"



Monday, March 3, 2014

Patience, Impatience and a Mission Statement

Now, I am sure you folks out there know how patient we Brits are about standing in queues. I'm not sure where all this patience originates from because personally I'd like to club some of the people standing in front of me in the supermarket queue. You know the ones - you've been standing in the queue for twenty minutes and the person in front of you announces they've forgotten something and heads off to the meat counter and doesn't return for ten minutes. Meanwhile, you're still standing in the queue watching the hands of your watch tick away like an unexploded bomb knowing that you've got pack, pay and repack the groceries into your car and drive across town pick up your kids in less than ten minutes.

Then, of course, when the customer finally returns from their sojourn they forlornly announce that the turkey mince they wanted for their cat wasn't supplied in a small enough quantities.

It is at this point that you grip the stick of French bread your holding so tight it starts to crumble as you imagine clubbing the customer with it before strangling them with a string of sausages.

Hmm...I wonder if they need a new script writer for CSI?

 Episode 24: The Serial Sausage Killer.

Works for me.

I think I need to write more murderous fiction. I need to let out all my pent-up frustrations with supermarkets.

And quite a few other things. My weighing scales for starters. Those things are jinxed. I have to keep buying new ones as there is no way I weigh that much. There's a lot of faulty manufacturing going on out there in the world of bathroom scales and someone needs to sort it out.

Episode 25: The Revenge of Womanhood

Yeah, so murderous writing could be good therapy for me. Instead of verging on my usual mania, I'd probably end up really chilled-out, performing yoga and floating votive candles in the bath. I might even start wearing crochet multi-coloured jumpers.

By the way, do people really float candles in the bath? Or is that just in the movies? Maybe it's what incredibly rich people who live in LA do - I suppose they're the only ones who can afford the plastic surgery if they accidentally set their pubic hair alight.

So anyway, I expect you've all heard the phrase "patience is a virtue."

Some phrases just annoy the hell out of you. "Patience is a virtue" is one of them. I mean, having patience is plain boring isn't it? You know what I am talking about -you're stuck in a traffic jam on the motorway and whilst you exchange empathetic grimaces with the driver in the next lane and glance at your watch trying not to look too concerned, what you really want to do is leap out off your car, march to the front of the queue and rant and rave (and possibly kill) whoever is holding up the traffic.

Except no one will be there, of course. They'll be just a load of cones which seem to have no purpose whatsoever. They'll just be rows and rows of cones which have descended on the motorway like a fleet of Daleks, determined to screw up your life for all eternity.

Episode 26: The Cone Exterminator.

Anyway, what I am getting around to saying is that I think I am getting less patient as I get older. I have feeling this is not how it is meant to be. Aren't people meant to become more patient and wiser as they age? Aren't I supposed to sit patiently for hours, chewing tobacco like one of those Indian Chieftains, before dispensing some profound statement like "Man who is impatient will get speeding fine," or "Woman who makes haste will catch her heel in pavement."

Now unfortunately, having patience is something a writer needs lots of. It takes a long time and a lot of self motivation to write a full-length novel. However, the amount of patience required to write a book is nothing compared to the amount of patience a writer must have when dealing with literary agents.

You see, literary agents are the key to a traditional publishing contract. You can't get anywhere without one unless you hit the seriously big time as a self-published author like E L James did with Fifty Shades or Hugh Howey did will Wool.

Now imagine being stuck on the traffic lights on AMBER for four whole months. Every now and then you rev your engine and think any minute now I'm gonna GO and then just for a moment you think it flicks to green but before you can put the car into gear it flicks back to orange and then finally onto red.

STOP!

Yep, so that's Mrs T's story. A leading UK agent had my full manuscript for four months before finally rejecting it. Some pretty good stuff was said and some other agents have said some pretty good stuff too like "funny," "engaging" and "well written."

Hey, don't blame for getting some good stuff in amongst the rejections. Do you want poor Mrs T to become depressed? A gal's gotta keep her ego up somehow.

So anyway, as yet, no one wants to take a chance on a comedy novel that isn't a romance or by some big cheese author.

What the hell more do they want? I mean isn't "funny", "engaging", "well-written" and "entertaining on all levels" good enough?

Do these agents want my blood spread over their desks or what?

Maybe they want my super seductive 48-year old body as well? Is that it? Maybe I should dress up in a low cut dress and sing "Hello, Mr Agent" all gooey like Marilyn Monroe did for JFK?

What? What? What is they want? 

(Apart from a sure-fire bestseller written by a celebrity obviously.)

Now I could work my way through all the UK agents but I can't be bothered my engine has burnt out with all the revving.

So I've come to the conclusion, you can't always wait for things to happen, you have to make them happen. After all, I could get run-over tomorrow and The Changing Room would never see the light of day and I have worked too hard to get to this stage to let it die with me and the bus.

So I have ordered my ISBN numbers and I now anticipate A Modern Life will be published later this month when the ISBN numbers arrive in my inbox.  A Modern Life will also contain the opening chapter of  The Changing Room which, if you haven't worked it out by now, is a rip-roaring roller-coaster of a comedy. The first chapter will give you a good flavour - but you'll have to pay to read the telephone sex chapters. But they're good. Worth every penny of the extortionate amount I'm going to charge.

Okay, it not going to be that expensive. Just a fair price.

Anyway get ready, folks, Mrs T is finally going into the unknown. Accordingly, I've put together a mission statement. It goes like this:

Publishing: the final frontier. These are the ramblings of the Housewife Extraordinaire. Her seven-year mission: to explore strange new words, to seek out new characters and new genres, to boldly go where no writer has gone before.

Obviously, I spent a lot of time thinking about that mission statement.

Well - at least thirty seconds.

Anyway, you know what that kind of mission statement and ambition does to a woman like me? It does this: 









Thursday, February 13, 2014

A German Football Challenge or Deutsche Ein Fuss Herausforderung


Now before I get started on this post properly, I need to say that I know the two "ss" of "Fuss" in my title should be one of squiggly things that looks Kim Kardashian's boobs from the side view. However, I've no idea how to get a squiggly boob thing and life is too short to worry about it. So before any of you language teachers (that's you Susann Fruendt) make any formal complaint I'm lodging my excuses now. Okay?

Right, so the background to this post is that I stupidly said to my writer's group that if anyone spotted a typo in my last post I would write a blog post of their choice. Now, I had already self-flagellated as a result of spotting two typos in the first line so I didn't think it could get any worse. I was wrong. Because language teacher and writer Susann Fruendt spotted a typo in the TITLE. Then, to top it all, the proof reader for my short story collection, the lovely Eve, came on line and spotted another THREE typos in the text.

Now, if I was dyslexic, my mistakes would be acceptable and I know all you wonderful readers out there wouldn't mind the occasional Mrs T balls-up. After all, you don't come here for grammar lessons just mindless drivel from a slightly disturbed woman. Am I right? However, too many typos is just unacceptable and makes look me look like an complete dimwit and, anyway, I'm not dyslexic - I'm normal. Well, apart from the small amount of my brain I found seeping out of my ear the other day.

So anyway, as a result of this challenge I now have to write a post about the German football team without mentioning The War. (That's the Second World War. Obviously.) But, being the clever sticks I am, I thought maybe I could write about German football and the First World War.

 Hurrah!

Then I thought maybe that would be cheating and Susann would be over here like a shot kicking me up the arse. So, just for Susann I am not going mention The War at all in this post about The War  the German football team.

Boo.

So the German football team. Great. Lots of stuff instantly springs to mind.

Dah, de da, da, da, da, da, da, da hums da da  *hangs out washing* da da da da da da *on the Siegfried line* da de dee da

Did you know that, apparently, the German football team lost the 1966 World Cup? That was a real fight battle contest. Of course, I didn't actually watch it, as I was still in my nappies, but I do remember hearing my father cry out, "By God, we've won!" My mother didn't watch it though as she was in the kitchen with my siblings and I attempting to make frankfurters to mark the special occasion. We Brits like to do those things - celebrate other cultures by sampling their food and drink.

I believe London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has spent a lot of time sampling German food and drink.
A German football supporter. At the 1966 World Cup.

So German football. It's great. And I love all those German footballers' names. Like Van der Fock. Or is that the Dutch? I don't know. They all sound and look the same to me: they all have two legs and wear shorts that are unacceptably long. Except for in the 1970s when the shorts were unacceptably short. I mean - they were so short when the footballers fell to the ground clutching their groins you knew it was because their shorts were too tight and not because they'd been kneed in the nuts.

A German footballer at the 1966 World Cup discovers a frankfurter on his seat.
So anyway, I gather the German football team are pretty good. They might even have won a couple of things. Well so I hear on the football grapevine. Yeah, that's right - me and Becks (that's David Beckham - him and me are pretty close) went out on the town and Becks confided in me about the Germans being pretty hot with their balls and that he was thinking about taking up an offer to manage the German football team. Apparently, they've offered him a whole year's supply of frankfurters and the opportunity to cut the ribbon on the new Aldi Store in Berlin.

"You British you think you are so funny. But you are just crazy!"
Anyway, Becks was thinking it over. He was keen but unfortunately Vicky wasn't. She was concerned about German fashion and it being a little too...formal. But it's a great opportunity for Becks so he asked me to try and persuade Vicky. So I texted her with this message:

Hi Vicky, Don't worry about German fashion. Berlin is really close to Paris. You could be there in a few hours. No one will stop you. It'll be easy.

Vicky texted back with this message:

You're right Mrs T. As ever! I could go by train. I've heard German trains are really efficient and always run on time.

So I texted back:

Great news, Vicky! Becks will be pleased. And you're right - the trains are fast in Germany. I ordered a whole crate of frankfurters and they arrived in no time at all. The only delay was at the Channel.

So there you go, breaking news from Mrs T - Becks is on his way to Berlin and Vicky is on her way to Paris and all because of German football. Who says we British don't love other cultures?

In fact, we Brits love almost of all of Europe. There's actually a sign on the Dover Cliffs which reads "Free Welfare, Tea and Scones."

Of course, it could all change if UKIP (that's the UK Independence Party) get elected at the next General Election. They'll be no more frankfurters and Stollen imported from Germany and no more crotchless knickers from France. We Brits will be on our own again.

How sad is that?
A German footballer supporter at his day job.
"I  'ave a secret weapon and I am not afraid to use it on you, Mrs T."



Monday, February 10, 2014

Yet another rant from Mrs T involving a letter to the English Cricket Board

Have you heard the tragic news, readers?

Kevin Pietersen has not been selected for the next English cricket tour. His career with England is over.

Okay, a quick explanation for my American friends: Kevin Pietersen is to English cricket what Michael Phelps is to USA swimming. Only Kevin doesn't pee on the pitch like Michael pees in the pool and Kevin has a bigger mouth.

Right, so Kevin has not been selected to play for England. I am disgusted, mortified, shocked, sickened, etc etc etc at this decision. Now I'm not even going to mention Kevin's vital statistics (rumour has it they're pretty darn good - even the ones with his bat) but, in addition to his stats, Kevin is "hot". I mean seriously "hot" and we ladies, who must suffer hours of watching international test cricket, need something decent to look at every now and then. And, believe me, the only thing that stops me from hanging myself whilst watching another England defeat is the thought of a close-up of Kevin.

Anyway, I'm drafting a letter to the English Cricket Board to register my dissatisfaction. It goes something like this:

Dear Miserable Old Farts,

WE WANT KEVIN PIETERSEN
WE WANT KEVIN PIETERSEN
WE WANT KEVIN PIETERSEN
WE WANT KEVIN PIETERSEN
WE WANT KEVIN PIETERSEN
WE WANT KEVIN PIETERSEN

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Jane Turley, Housewife Extraordinare.

Ps Please remember how boring Boycott was. Do you really want to be responsible for mass suicide?

Right, if any of you ladies or gents out there feel I've forgotten to mention anything important in my letter, please let me know so I can make amendments.
Pietersen 2013.jpg
Kevin Pietersen in his shades. Cool. Did Boycott ever look that cool? I can't say I noticed - I was usually in a deep coma.
 (Picture courtesy of Wikipedia, fair use)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

What shall we talk about? The weather or vaginas?

I was going to write a post about the awful weather in the UK at the moment but then I read this article in The Daily Mail and decided it was way more interesting and deserving of some serious analysis.

So to sum up the article there's a woman called Kim Anami who, supposedly, can lift a 12kg kettle ball with her vagina.

I can lift a HB pencil with mine. Which is handy because if I ever have my hands amputated I will still be able to sign my name.

Now I don't want to cast doubt on the strength of this woman's vagina but whenever I read stuff like that two words cross my mind. They are "mentally" and "unstable."

Now I regularly lift an 8kg kettle ball (with my hands) as part of my on-going fitness drive and whilst this has resulted in many things (a broken window, a dead cat and facial disfigurement) it has not resulted in the desire to shove a hook up my assets and start hauling it around the house.

Anyway, I wish Kim a lot of luck. If she doesn't turn herself inside out and get mistaken for a Lady Gaga dress she can always hire herself out as a tow truck. With the current UK weather she should get a lot of work.

This lady attempted to lift a 12kg kettleball. Now she gets strange looks every time she's goes shopping. The only bonus of her current disposition is that it's far easier to have a pee in a public lavatory.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Need to Express

Relax. This is not a post about breastfeeding.

No, today I am going talk about the need to express oneself artistically - which is a pompous way of saying you like to fart around wearing a silly hat and want everyone to admire you for it. 

Needless to say, I have always worn lots of hats.

Anyway, this subject came up for discussion in my writers group where my fellow writer, Susann Fruendt posed the following question;

I noticed that many of you have mentioned a real NEED to write; that it keeps you from going insane; that you feel restless/unhappy/incomplete/add other adjective of your choice if you don't find the time to write. So my question is: Do you think that this necessary to be a good writer? Do all of you feel that to be writing is your calling? Does this consuming passion make you a better author?

So if any of you thespians out there want to leave an answer for Susann then please do. You can also find her poignant short story on Amazon here.

In my answer to Susann (you knew this post was going to be about me didn't you?)  I related how I have always felt the need to create and express and that writing is but one of the forms of expression I've attempted ("attempt" being the operative word.) Indeed, I have tried my hand at various forms of  "the arts" including acting, singing, art and music - but not dancing (except in my kitchen - which if you've seen my legs you'll know why I stay behind the safety of my sink.) 

Obviously, I'm hoping I'm better at writing than the other arts. Basically, I was useless at singing, my attempts at playing the clarinet, recorder and guitar were met with looks of abject horror and my art was abject horror itself. If you can picture artwork which is cross between the style of Edward Munch/ Tracy Emin and Damon Hirst's more ghoulish pieces then you'll be on the right lines. Now to be fair, if I'd carried on producing artwork like that, I'd probably have made an absolute fortune. However, on the downside, I might have developed bi-polar by the age of twenty four. I would have had no self-worth at all; painting a picture of myself naked and screaming whilst lying on a messy bed next to a sheep's corpse wouldn't haven't been good for my sanity. 

But, by God, it would have been good for my subsequent literary reputation. Imagine the headlines:

Bi-polar author who slept with dead sheep before taking overdose nominated for ManBooker Prize.

Author who slit wrists with sheep shears scores hit with The History of Sheep in Art

Munch impressionist wrote horror trilogy before throwing herself of towerblock; The Screaming Sheep, The Sheep Murderer and The Last Lamb storm to the top of the bestseller charts.

Now to go back to Susann's question - unlike a lot of writers I don't feel restless or unhappy or the need wallow in the works of Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway whilst taking intermittent sojurns to the bathroom cabinet. That said, I do feel kind of happier/content when I'm writing. It's as if expressing myself satisfies my need to express and entertain. I like entertaining. Just not if it requires cooking as any part of it.

Oh God, I've just googled "writers who have committed suicide" and found this. That is way more writers than I expected. Boy, there's some seriously screwed up writers out there. Now trust me, any of you self-published authors out there - your unedited manuscripts with numerous typos are not worth killing yourself over because unless you're a traditional published author who's been short-listed for a major prize or your publisher has demanded a third draft of your autobiography because there's not enough sex and debauchery in it, no one will care -you do not have to kill yourself. Those typos are not worth worrying about. Seriously. However, if you are at all concerned check out A Post for Depressed Writers: Ten Reasons to be Happy and Other Random Jolly Thoughts. It may cheer you up - or it may not.

In fact, don't read it if you're depressed, it may give you ideas. Sorry. I have a habit of putting my foot in it.

Now I don't want to create an image of myself as a completely happy-go-lucky, cocaine-snorting thespian with a penchant for pulling funny faces and wearing false noses. So it's fair to say I have at times in my life I've felt "down" too. It's only natural. Indeed the time when I realised I didn't need butt implants to have a fashionable butt like Kim Kardashian was a sad day. It was also a very sad day when I realised I wasn't go to grow taller than Tom Cruise. However, being an optimistic person I was able to pull myself out of my depressions by imagining Kim Kardshian's butt exploding on take-off from LAX airport and Tom Cruise asking me on a date because I was the only woman in Hollywood who he didn't have to put his heels on for. 

Of course, when I was a teenager I had a melancholic phase too just like many other teenagers which, again, is completely normal. After all, those teenage spots can really spoil a first date when they explode at an untimely moment. And that can really, really get you down. It happened to me once - it was just like that scene in There's Something About Mary when Ben Stiller gets semen on his ear. I told my date my zit pus was Alberto VO5 hair gel. I'm not proud of it, readers, but I did what had to be done.

You know, I have no idea where this post is going now. I've lost my train of thought. It was the image of Ben Stiller's semen that did it. Yuck.



               Ugh. I say again, ugh. I haven't felt the same about Ben Stiller since. Or hair gel.

Anyway, just for Susann, here's is a picture of some of my woodcarvings from my "artistic" period. These were carved during my teenage "I don't who I am but dead things are fascinating" years. We all have them - it's just most successful artists don't grow out if it or, if they're very lucky, they become fascinated by their genitals instead. Fortunately, I moved out of my "artistic" phase some time ago. Now I'm in my "I want to be a writer" phase. Hopefully, I'll have more success with writing than with my art. Blimey, I hope so. Otherwise Mr T may reinstate those chains.


Woodcarvings from my ghoulish period. Is it any wonder I'm mad? The centrepiece was for an exam but unfortunately the jaw of the skull didn't turn out quite as well as I'd hoped. I used to say this was because of time constraints as I had to find the time to do it in between classes. However, the truth is I just ******* it up with the chisel. Oh well. The skull and snake normally resides in the loft, the skull I use as a bookend and the head I put on a windowsill to scare off intruders. However, I find just opening the door in my PJs usually works pretty good.
Ps My short story collection is coming very soon. Apologies to anyone waiting. There is a reason which I will explain at a later date. 




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