Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fed Up.

Yep, I'm fed up.

There are some pretty odd people out there in this world and in the last few days I've found my blog title unsubtly cribbed, a blog titled and devoted to me ( although fortunately no posts, because heaven knows what exactly the author was anticipating) and lastly one of my posts copied and stuck on an offensive soft porn site.

Here are the links to the two posts;



I guess if you put yourself in the public domain you can expect feedback which might be even in a negative fashion. I've no real problem with that although it is one of the reasons I steer away from controversial subjects like religion and politics as I had no wish for my site to go down that avenue. However, in both these cases I think the authors have overstepped the mark of good taste.

I am constantly hearing that blogging isn't "The Real World." Many people, including myself, use that term lightly but unfortunately there are others use it to abdicate responsibility for their words and actions. They forget that the people who write blogs are in fact "real" people with families and feelings.

I'm probably being oversensitive to the matter but sometimes I just wonder how if some people cannot put themselves into the shoes of others how we will ever survive as the human race. Maybe we won't. Maybe next time the Arc won't be big enough. Or maybe we will just fight over it and sink the bloody thing.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


Yes, the day is here, March 28th 2009. The day when ordinary people like you and I have a chance to show others less concerned or unaware of global warming how we care about our beautiful, wonderous world, the many species that inhabit it and how the time has come to preserve it for future generations.

For over 30 years, politicians have talked, argued and theorized about climate change but the truth is very little has been done to make the real and effective changes required to stem the tide of global warming.

In democracies we elected people who we thought would act in our best interests but, more often than not, those interests were submerged under a blanket of short term political and economic demands. In dictatorships the word of leaders was, and is, law; the voices of people suppressed by the will of those who govern.

But I ask you - what needs, wants, demands are more important than the survival of the human race?

Are we, the people, as guilty as our leaders? Perhaps not, but the luxuries we have enjoyed at the expense of nature be it through ignorance or greed make us all culpable to some degree. And the time has now come when every one of us has to contribute to clawing the world back from the precipice on which it now stands.

The clock is ticking.

Nature will not wait for further debate. It will not slow hand clap us as we pontificate; it will seek a bloody and exacting revenge. Millions, perhaps billions, will die if we do not halt the progress of global warming.

The clock is ticking.

We must vocalize to individuals, businesses and governments that apathy will no longer be tolerated. We must curb fossil fuel emissions, we must use and develop sources of renewable energy. We must work for the greater good of mankind.

The clock is ticking.

I urge you today to support Earth Hour by switching off your lights at 8.30pm local time. Please tell your colleagues, friends and neighbours and most importantly make people understand why you are doing it.

I leave you with these words from the inaugural address of President John F Kennedy in 1961. Whilst they are the words from another generation, they seem just as relevant today in the context of the perils we face from global warming.

Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are—but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, year in and year out, "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation"—a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility—I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it—and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

John. F. Kennedy.

Climate change is a global problem. It is not just about freedom from communism, oppression and war. It is about the freedom from
starvation and poverty. So ask not what the earth can do for you but
what you can do for the earth. Ask not what the world will do for you,but what you will do for the survival of man.


If you would like to learn more about global warming I urge you to read Global Warning The Last Chance for Change which I review here on The View From Here Literary Magazine.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Voice Recognition Programmes II (Judgement Day)

Yes, yes I keep wasting even more time on that silly voice recognition programme! It was supposed to save me time not make me fart around all day trying to make it write "bullshit" - a task at which so far I have failed miserably.

Oh well, I might as well have another go - yes I can even type here - straight onto Blogger! Isn't that great? If it had ANY idea what I was saying...

Okay, here goes;

I am trying to save the word portion it, I am trying to say the word portion it, I am trying to say the word portion it, I'm trying to say the word portion it, I'm trying to save the world sheet, I am trying to say the word the sheets, I am trying to say the word portion it, I am trying to say the word portion it, I am trying to say the word Associates, I am trying to say the word portion it, I am trying to say the word report she.

What happened to Bolsheviks? That's what I want to know! Hmm...this morning I retrained the system back to "normal speech" from my advanced setting for super literate persons (moi, obviously) in the hope it would recognise a simplistic word like "bullshit". Obviously that's not working either.

Right, I'll just try "shit." Maybe that will work;

I'm trying to save the world sheet, I'm trying to save the world sheet, and I'm trying to save the world sheet, I'm trying to save the world sheet, I'm trying to save the world shaped, I'm trying to say the world sheet, I'm trying to say the word shapes.

Hmmm...obviously the average person isn't supposed to know the words "Bolshevik", "bullshit" or even just plain "shit". What are they supposed to say? Maybe only "Me know nothing goo, goo, ga, ga, but me gotty, sheets in my nappy wappy."

Hmm.... me thinks it times to get my rolling pin out......

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Voice Recognition Programmes

I did a mad, mad thing. I fell for all that blurb on Amazon about voice recognition programmes. Yes, I fantasized about doubling, perhaps even quadrupling my writing output - dictating as I cleaned the kitchen, scrubbed the floor and even as I worked out on my Wii. Not only would I finish my book in a matter of weeks I would soon be working on a sequel to War and Peace.

So, having read all the customer reviews, I made a decision - I decided all the negative reviews were from people who hadn't set the programme up properly and hadn't gone through all the voice recognition tutorials. Yes, I decided that with my English accent and clear pronunciation I would be exempt from the troubles of mere amateurs.

I was completely wrong. I followed everything to the letter; I even did the advanced speech recognition programme...and yet the bloody thing is utterly, utterly hopeless.

As evidence of this I am posting my first attempt which was an email to Gary Davison. (The words in italics are the words I added afterwards so he might get a vague idea of what I was actually talking about.) I ought to point out that a serious amount of expletives were used in the making of the email...and believe me there were many, many more that you simply won't realise from the rather confusing text. In fact, at one point I was actually trying to say "cow dung" in an attempt to make Gary understand what "Bolsheviks" meant. "Cow dung" turned out to be "Carol" and "him." Bolsheviks also means the same as "proof sheets."

Okay, so here we go;

Good afternoon Gary,you'll never believe what I'm doing here! RA's just set my computer to do one of these the police recognition programs serve you probably tend to get a few words that it completely wrong. Yes I can see quite a few narrow which are already wrong. I think it's going to take quite a while before it actually costs the hang of this.style possibly in the long term it might work out quite now. Sad quite frustrating Moments because the words status just, and I've no idea why that is come up because really I speak one clearly said Gartner's (That was meant to be "God knows") wouldn't be like for someone new one has got an accident accent yes that's right the second time luckily. Is any of this making sense? Him and I think it will take some time before this works really well. I was sort of how hoping that I'd just be up to stop forking and he would more turn that absolutely perfectly but that's not going to help plan the it happened while. It because at the moment it's looking like I'm talking complete Sleep hard abortion it him him and.

While the punctuation seems to work quite well anyway. At the moment it's taking me considerably longer to do anything which is disappointing because I was hoping that this was going to work really well but it's it doesn't appear to be working that well and I've learnt to say scratch that's pretty well because scratch that is what I have to say when I want to effectively were bank something. Broadband something no no no not vote band some think it's no no no no no no no no no real need and getting very very be there be a straight frustrated.

Well my conclusion is that at present, and this is complete the world of proof sheets. It no not proof sheets are a set she it. I'll try again she know I'm trying to say Bolsheviks are we are used to the that a simple shapes. A set poll shakes P. you double out Ali sagged. I.e. I am trying to say the word Bolsheviks, no that's not the word Bolsheviks I'm trying to say the word Carol Carol Carol him him him him him. All. I'm trying to say is the words which have a remarkable similarity to handle time can come Old as a new ascertain moved more.

Flock. Fark. Talk. Fark fark fark fark fark fark fark fark not knock no room I am going to spell it helps fark fark fark for for for a give up love and the serious, entire

Macy's no Notts Macy's Macy's James Jenny's Cheney clearly him. Off the

I advise you not to buy a voice recognition programme, Gary. It doesn't recognise the words fuck and bullshit which is rather unfortunate.

Jesus what a waste of money.

Mrs Turley - which according to this software is Macy's Cheny.


I haven't stopped laughing reading this back - it was worth the 60 quid just for the laugh.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Wrong Executive Decision

Have you ever made the wrong executive decision? I have. In fact I made one last Friday.

Let me explain. Well, I had a one of those annoying weeks where I just didn't get anything done so by Friday I was feeling a little down in the dumps but, nevertheless, I'd made plans to write in the morning and then go swimming in the afternoon. As lunchtime approached I was even thinking about removing all my excess body hair - cos you know it's just not acceptable for us ladies to have even a whisker of body hair in a pool - although it's perfectly acceptable for men to flaunt their body hair even if they look like an extra from The Planet of The Apes.

I don't want to lower the tone of the conversation - but there's something really unpleasant about getting a hair in your mouth in the pool isn't there? Ugh! I mean - you don't really know from whom - or even more importantly - from where it has come. On balance, I think it's worse than getting a hair in your meal at a restaurant - unless the chef's bald - and then you've got a real dilemma. Do you say "I've got a hair in my soup" and get accused of sabotaging the meal to get a free one or do you accuse the chef of cooking in inappropriate attire? Hmm. Tricky.

Anyhow, just as I was contemplating whether to use razor, wax or Immac or my personal favourite - just donning a scuba diving suit, when the telephone rang. It was the school - apparently Master Jacob had banged his knee and could no longer walk. Yes, the slight knock from the edge of a table was in fact a meteorite hurtling from outer space which had knocked him off his feet, pinned him against the blackboard and caused involuntary leg spasms and wobbly knee syndrome.

Yeah, right. Of course he couldn't walk. I can't sing either but I don't go around saying I've swallowed a set of bagpipes. Know what I mean?

Okay, I'm not saying the school have a habit of crying wolf but I spend more time at Master Jacob's school than the teachers do. He has had more bangs, scrapes, headaches and episodes of queasiness than I've had chocolate bars - so we are talking a SERIOUS amount. Frankly, readers, I nearly blew my top. In fact, I don't think there's actually been more than one occasion when Master Jacob has been genuinely ill. It's all this politically correct stuff. Yep, I can just imagine it now in the medical room...

"Now let me see, Jacob - you've stubbed your toe. Hmm...that means there is a possibility that you will have to have your leg amputated with may result in blood loss, transfusion, a heart transplant and a near death experience. Hmm...I'd better send you home."

Look, I know I don't work in the conventional sense - i.e I don't have a 9 -5 job but when are those clowns at school going to realise that I do actually do stuff that doesn't involve picking my nose between the hours of 9 am and 3.30?

Anyway, I was tad cross and Master Jacob realising that this was the last time he was going to get away with a faking offence naturally thought he'd better fake it some more. Kids' logic eh? So, by the time we'd got home, he was so poorly he had to take off all his clothes and retire to his bed to rest his leg and was suffering from an oncoming bout of dizziness. (Strangely enough he managed to take his lunch box with him.)

Okay, so soon it was time for me to pick up Master Ben from school and Master Jacob told me didn't want to come with me. (Possibly because he was now happily ensconced in his bed watching Horrid Henry.) I tried coaxing him but to no avail. So eventually I began to think that Master Jacob would be fine for 30 minutes whilst I was gone and reluctantly I made the executive decision to leave him by himself with his mobile phone, the neighbours alerted and with his solemn promise he would stay in bed watching the telly until I returned. I'd convinced myself that he was old enough and sensible enough not to get into any trouble.

Well, you've guessed it - I made the wrong executive decision. Yes, as I pulled up the drive on my return I noticed Master Jacob in the kitchen, fully dressed and doing what appeared to be...cooking.

Yep, Master Jacob was baking biscuits. Following the (dubious) success of his last attempt at cooking biscuits at school he had decided it was the time to have another bash. Indeed, by the time I'd got through the door he was already on his second batch. Sounds impressive huh? Okay let's take a look at the first batch........

Yep, that's right Master Jacob had put his biscuits underneath the grill. That's impressively awful - even by my standards.

And you know what? Batch number two wasn't looking too good either. They looked kinda... sticky.

Okay - let me say that no amount of flour could salvage the second attempt. It was one step away from just being liquid which I would have thought was pretty difficult - bearing in mind as I was cleaning up Master Jacob said;

" I know why it didn't work - I forgot to put margarine in it!"

Whaaaat? What the hell did he put in it? The contents of the washing up bowl?

And if that wasn't enough, as I returned from cleaning Master Jacob's sticky little fingers in the bathroom I discovered Master Ben trying to make biscuits too. My kitchen looked like the fallout from a nuclear war zone. There was muck, utensils and flour everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

Yep, I made the wrong executive decision. It just goes to show that should never leave a child alone, even when you think it's safe to do so - and especially if you don't set a very good example in the kitchen.

Have you ever made the wrong executive decision? If so, tell me about it and make me feel better. In the meantime, please don't report me to social services......

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Chocolate Wars!

Every once in a while this dear sweet island nation erupts into furious debate. You may remember that this happened last year when tempers frayed, damning letters were written to national newspapers and news broadcasts were devoted to a matter of national importance - the state of British underpants. If you don’t recall it, you can read my post about this delicate, intimate matter here.

But now, a more terrifying, a more sinister and even more horrifying debate has arisen. Yes, I know Peter Mandelson, aka “The Prince of Darkness” has returned to government but it’s something far more dreadful than even the return of The Beast. It’s something that will bring voters out onto the streets, geriatrics out of their electric wheelchairs and babies out of their buggies!

By the by, have you noticed how old biddies in electric wheel chairs excel at knee crushing and leg crumpling? What's more, watch out for 2lbs of sausages and a tube of denture fix-it cream clouting you in the face at 30mph. Yeah, let's face it -who needs Panzer tanks and an elite SS division when a fleet of old grannies in thermal tights and tea cosy hats could overrun Poland in less than half the time it takes to cross the Rhine.

Anyway, those conniving Scots have been behaving subversively again. It's bad enough Gordon Brown infiltrating Westminster but now those rotten Celts have been trying to influence the corridors of power by suggesting ..... horror of horrors... a tax on chocolate! Yes, despite the standard tax on it already of 15% a Scottish General practitioner, Doctor David Walker, believes a further tax will help to curb the growing problem of obesity. Oh come on! Get real Mr Walker! Chocolate lovers are addicts like alcoholics and druggies! Will an extra tax stop them? NO! And why should poor hardworking housewives like Mrs T with her increasingly emptying wallet who need a small discreet choccy fix to help them through the long arduous days have to suffer so the government can make a fast buck? It's outrageous, it's heinous, it's a crime against humanity! (Well against me anyway.)

Hey, and we're not even talking about a teeny weeny tax like 1% 0r 2% but a massive, wallet crucifying 20%. Disgusting! Personally, I'm putting Dr Walker's beastly behaviour down to the long winter and the prolonged draught up his kilt.
However, on hearing this shocking news I was to forced to act quickly. Even a whisper of such a tax could not be allowed to reach the ears of The Chancellor who is renowned in the provinces for stealing from poor humble workers like Mrs T and giving to the rich. Indeed rumour has it that at he walks the streets of London preying on the collection tins of tramps and beggars, posing as a charity collector and busking in the London Underground whilst miming to "My Way."

So I mobilized my army of like minded housewives and equipped myself with my full range of Anti -Celt artillery and head to Scotland for a meeting of The British Medical Association where the evil Dr Walker and his twisted colleagues were meeting to discuss this ludicrous proposal. I put on my combat gear (Curlers, pinafore and green wellies) and loaded my armoury into my deadly CMAX (fully equipped with it's full range of anti GP missiles and the notorious 25mm custard tart launcher) and headed Up North to the land of Robbie Burns, haggis and strange bearded men in chequered skirts....

The Armoury;

Helmets - as modeled by the Master Jacob and Master Benedict. Master Jacob wears the £5.99 deluxe version available from all major retail outlets or alternatively it can be purchased online from Mrstkitchenequipment.com. Not suitable for rainy days but useful for prompt attention at the supermarket; if you feel like jumping the queue place the helmet on your head and not only will you be moved to the front of the queue you will be escorted off the premises without even paying for your shopping. Master Benedict wears the economy version which is particularly good on secret missions where you wish to disguise yourself as a potted plant, a Greenpeace activist or a Vietnamese fashion designer. Again, not particularly good on rainy days but slightly less noisy than the deluxe model when has a tendency to cause ringing in the ears.

The latest designer breast plates. Essential for any women above a size 32AA. Also double as weapons of mass destruction, bottom moulds and a portable drum kit. Can be stacked easily when not in use. Somewhat pricey but come with lifetime guarantees ensuring years of trouble free maiming.

Surface to air missiles. Easily stored deadly weapons which can cause concussion, visual disturbances and acute organ failure. Can be launched manually or using the 2009 Broomstick Lever and Rebound system. Excellent for subterfuge and particularly useful when trying to sabotage nuclear power stations, TV shopping channels and the homes of diet gurus. Maintain excellent cruise control in the air. Currently under development as a renewable energy source as a new form of wind power.

Hand to hand close combat weapons. From left to right; The Smacker, The Slicer and The Pricker. The Pricker is particularly useful for lifting the skirts of fleeing Scotsmen.

Instruments of torture; The Whisker and The Nut Cracker. Excellent for reducing grown men to tears. On the rare occasion that a man may resist it is possible to upgrade to the latest electronic versions. These are the Housewife Extraordinaire's favourite weapons of choice particularly for those more intimate and challenging moments. The Nutcracker fits nicely into a handbag which is useful for taking the enemy by surprise, especially from the rear.

So fully quipped I set off on my mission to restore common sense to the Scottish contingent....

On reaching my destination, rumours of an invading English army of housewives had already reached the ears of Dr Walker and his feeble GP colleagues who had fled fearful of the wrath of the Housewife Extraordinaire. But following a trail of haggis crumbs left by my double agent, Jacqueline Hyde, I tracked Dr Walker down to a small hovel on the outskirts of Glasgow. Knocking down his door with my breast plates, whilst my army bayed outside for his blood, I entered his miserable, tartan carpeted, abode and then.....

........ I pulled out my nutcrackers...........

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Music Tuesday; An Irish Rollercoaster

I'm a bit late on my music Monday post because I'm part Irish and I thought it was Monday today when it is in fact Tuesday, March 17th, St Patrick's Day!

Of course my surname, Turley, which I acquired from the good Mr T is Irish. However, my maiden name is perhaps even more commonly known as Irish. Have a guess! Here's a clue; pick a fight with a Jack and then make peace with him and you'll get the answer. A prize of a Mrs T culinary delight, personally cooked, for the first person to guess correctly. Or if that is unappealing (though I'm sure all would be delighted at the thought of such a scrumptious meal) I will write a post on any subject matter of your choice! Wow, that's got to be a quality prize!

Well, since it's St Patrick's Day I feel we should have something with an Irish flavour so I've opted for the lovely Ronan Keating and Life is a Rollercoaster. Of course, Irish history has been a rollercoaster for centuaries but since the ceasefire and devolution life has changed so much for the better both in Ireland and England. I lived and worked in London when the IRA were active and it wasn't pleasant to live under the constant threat of terrorism. I know too that my parents, as well known Catholics in our area (living in England), contemplated changing over family surname back in the 1970s when The Troubles were rife. I'm glad that they didn't though because I am as proud of my Irish inheritance as I am of my English, Welsh and Scottish inheritance. I consider myself truly "British" and to that extent I have never understood the extreme passions of a few when so much of histories are inextricably entwined. I believe it is better to live for the future and not for the past.

In Ireland last summer, I saw for myself how much investment and optimism is changing Ireland for the better; there are new buildings, roads and the hospitality is welcoming. I only hope that the 3 brutal murders in Ireland last week which have been universally condemned will not halt the progress of peace. No one with a heart wants to live under the threat of renewed terrorism, especially in this era of more challenging global concerns. There is only one way forward and that is the road of peace, prosperity and harmony - where the only screams we hear are the ones of a theme park rollercoaster and not the rollercoaster of emotions resulting from shattered lives and broken promises.

I'm not quite sure from whom I inherited my sense of humor but one night when I was little I woke up and saw a little leprechaun sitting on the end of my bed. I pulled up my bed clothes and peered over the top at this curious creature with pointed ears, nose and a silly green hat and as he spoke my tongue began to feel distinctly strange and words began to bubble in my throat..

" My Dear Miss Jane...me boss Mister Patrick has sent me over 'ere on a very special mission. Now if you could just kiss this stone all will be revealed......."

And so began my life of blathering idiocy.

And the only reason I never found the Blarney stone last summer was because it's propping open my kitchen door.......

Coming next; Chocolate Wars; Mrs T Strikes Back.

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The 28th March 2009 is Earth Hour Day where across the world at 8.30pm local time cities, towns, villages and individuals will be turning off their lights as a demonstration of their concern about global warming.

Some of you may recall that last year I reviewed a book on my blog called Global Warning; Last Chance for Change by Paul Brown, former environmental correspondent with The Guardian newspaper. You can read my full review of Global Warning HERE. Paul's book is singularly probably the most important book I have ever read. In outlines a future that through ignorance and greed mankind will bring about irreversible, runaway climate change which will be catastrophic for for our survival.

According to Paul's book scientists believe that a 2 degrees rise in temperature will be the tipping point for runaway climate change and their best calculations, taking into account that it takes approximately 25- 30 years for CO2 emissions to reach their full effect is that earth temperatures will rise, whatever our actions, by 1.5 degrees over the next few decades.A 0.8 degrees rise has already been statistically proven - and we can see the evidence of this all around us.

This means that we have only have 0.5 degrees and possibly only 10 -15 years to halt global warming before it is too late and we are plunged into a world of climate choas, economic disaster and starvation and famine of our own making.

On Monday 16th I am meeting with Paul Brown who will have just returned from a climate change conference in Copenhagen and I will be interviewing him for The View From Here. Naturally, there will be some emphasis on his writing career and how he coped moving from journalism into the world of books. However, I also hope to learn more about his motivation and commitment to writing such an important book. I will be leaving links to these interviews and a further review to Global Warning Last Chance for Change on my View From Here links section so please come over and see what Paul has to say about his very important and eye opening book.

In the meantime, take a look at this powerful video from the Earth Hour Organization and see what together WE can do to make a difference and show governments all over the world that we demand action. Let the people speak! So please tell your friends, relatives, employers and everyone you know and join me, Paul and thousands of others and say NO to global warming.

For a further, in depth, look at Paul's book, click HERE .

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Yes, I have finally been caught out. You see last week Paul Burman started a desk meme and showed the world a picture of his writing space and it was wonderful - a lovely room, a beautiful view and even a desk he made himself. Mmm - I love a man with creative hands and a creative mind! Luckily for Paul he lives in Australia otherwise I might have popped over and asked him to rebuild my kitchen worktops. (Ahem.)

Yes, well the reason I've been caught out is that Paul said he had been inspired by my post A Book Tag Which Went Disastrously Wrong where I'd posted a picture of my desk. Shocked by this news, in a moment of rare (?) foolishness and down right stupidity I sent Paul a picture of my desk as it was at the very moment I read his blog.

Well as you can imagine, the truth was a little messier. Okay, so here's the original picture of my desk (taken in soft focus!)

Oh how neat and tidy! And thoroughly charming!

Umm...now before I show you the other picture I would like to say in my defence;

1. My desk is the only place in the house where Mr T's beady eye for cleanliness is not allowed to trespass therefore I consider it my sworn duty to make it as visually displeasing as possible. It's petty I know but a gals gotta some satisfaction somehow....

2. It was a particularly bad day. Normally I have less than 7 cups on my desk. I usually average about 4 or 5 and at this very moment I only have 1 although I have now acquired a box of Maltesers. (Yummy) Unfortunately the box is now empty but you know I'll admire it for a few days because it's such a long, long way to the bin on the other side of my printer.....

3. I don't normally have plastic bags on my desk - I think I'd picked up the one in the piccy below off the floor where it possibly may have been accommodating a red box with chocolaty things inside it. The bag was on route to the bin it was just having a temporary respite from the journey to Carrier Bag Heaven. (The recycling plant obviously not the landfill site - I'm still trying you know.)

Okay so here you are. And try not to grimace please. Just remember I'm an underpaid and overworked housewife. (Emphasis on the underpaid bit please. ) By the way I'll gratefully accept any contributions for a new, larger desk and if you're feeling generous, a larger house as well.

With a cleaner.
And a cook.
And a manservant. (Either variety.)

Well there you go. A bombsite. Sorry, that's the illusion of Mrs T as a wondrous housewife obliterated then.

Well you might as well have some info on my desk. It's solid oak and I think I paid £45 for it - although it could have £35. Either way it was not more than £50 because Mrs T has eye for such things and she is also uncommonly good at bargaining. The geezer at the junk shop where I bought it wanted to make up for his losses by charging me £10 for transporting it 3 miles. Can you believe that? Anyway, at that point I said,

" I've got a Volvo. Ner, ner, ner, ner."

I stuck it in my car (well he did) and I drove home.

Okay here's a list of what was on my desk at that moment. ( Mainly because it's actually impossible to tell.)

Left to right.

1.My PC - notice I have my "calling card" (I'm so old fashioned it's untrue!) stuck to the top. This is just in case I forget who I am. (A distinct possibility.)

2. A Bob the Builder mug. ( Yuck.)

3. A Harry Potter mug. ( Damn those Easter eggs.)

4. Several tissues. (I cry a lot.)

5. Empty silver foil packet which contained caramel flavour crispy rice thingies. (The wrapper was on route to the bin.)

6. The orange thing is an empty glasses case. Situated next to that only just visible is a ceramic pot with assorted pens and pencils in it and a silver plated paper knife. There was also a pair of gold hoop earrings under the tissues. Oh yes, my mobile phone was under the tissues as well.

7. A wine glass. ( Well, you know - sometimes I need a tipple to keep me going......)

8. A pen that doesn't work with "Do more, Play tennis" on it. Again. it was on route to the bin....

9. A small tape deck - this is relatively new. I don't like it all and hopefully I'll find one a bit more atheistically pleasing in due course but for the moment it does the job of playing my CDs which I find seem to get scratched on my laptop so I try to avoid using it if at all possible.

10. A cloth for cleaning glasses, acquired from Mr T. I regret to inform the world that since Christmas I've needed to use glasses for prolonged close up work. Yes, I am getting old. The good news is I still have my own hair! And what's more I don't need to dye it!

Hats have a lot of benefits you know.

11. A red lamp. A recent purchase from that god forsaken place, IKEA. Mr T forced me to go there one day so I felt duty bound to buy something. The lamp is okay but I find it a little chunky but it is better than that green one which I loathe. The green lamp is one I used to use as a small light for the boys rooms for when I was on "sick duty" and somehow it landed up on my desk. It is actually very useful because its small and manoeuvrable and I can position it anywhere but visually I find it quite revolting. I guess one day I'll spot the perfect lamp but as yet I haven't.

12. The base set for the regular telephone. The telephone is under the plastic bag.

13 A clock. I like that clock. Good - something I like on my desk. Hurrah!

14 Next to the clock squashed next to the dictionary is a musical mother's day card. It was the one I gave to my mum last year. I found it in her apartment when I was clearing it out and I decided to keep it. I remember her telling me how she showed everyone it and they all laughed. It still works and when you open it, it sings in a mickey mouse type of voice "Your the best ever mum, yes you are, yes you are..."

Oh well.

15 The Collins English Dictionary I used at university. I use the on-line dictionaries a lot now but I still love the feel of this dictionary and I feel -well -clever seeing it there - you know like I actually know stuff... although on second thoughts dictionaries are for stuff you don't know.....hmm...maybe I ain't so clever...

16 A burgundy, leather bound dictionary with The New Little Oxford Dictionary emblazoned in gold on the front. It was a gift from some work colleagues and used to sit on my work desk which was of those cute ones with a roll top shutter. The dictionary used to have a brass engraved plaque on it with a birthday inscription but that's fallen off now and is in a drawer somewhere waiting to be stuck back on.

17. A Pile of CDs. It would be too boring to list of all of them so here's just a taster; Joss Stone - Mind ,Body and Soul, Seal - Soul, Simply Red - Greatest Hits, Shakira - Oral Fixation, Blue Eyed Soul - Compilation disc, Robyn - Robyn, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Easy Listening and Jason Mraz - We sing, We dance, We steal things who Mrs T is going to see at the Hammersmith Apollo very shortly. Hoorah! In amongst these DVDs is a prayer book I was given on my confirmation in 1976 - I found it amongst my mother's books. Inside is my name, school and is signed + Mervyn Alexander, Bishop of Clifton. If your interested my confirmation name is Cecilia - patron saint of music - which is kind of ironic as I am about as musical as Simon Cowell. If you know what I mean.

18. 2 DVDs - The Notebook - A love story I've yet to view and the other is Coach Education - Long Term Player Development, 6 -16 (physical) produced by the Lawn Tennis Association. This is because Master Jacob and Master Ben are performance tennis players and currently Master Jacob is the County Champion! (Says Mrs T gloating profusely as Master Jacob did it without the assistance of the county training squad who had previously kicked him out so Mrs T is inordinately thrilled that the young master thrashed the pants of their squad in their championships. And just in case I haven't gloated enough - Ha, ha, ha, !)

19 Three old diaries. One I hardly used but since it has those removable sections I might use it next year. Question - why is it that the year you buy yourself a diary you get given three and the year you don't buy one you don't get any?? Somebody tell me the answer. Anyway, I'm hopeless with diaries - I hardly write anything in them and prefer to store things in my memory which is why I've been making lots of mistakes recently - the old grey cells used to be good but now they're dying off rapidly. I do use the diaries for addresses and telephone numbers and notes but just not for dates. Yeah I know, crazy.

20. A wadge of plain paper in a green flowery cardboard box that my mum had next to her phone.

21 2 metal tea caddies which I use for storing cartridges and new pens and pencils. ( I'm addicted to pens, pencils and stationery.) On top is a light bulb which I took out of the old lamp which was in residence before the red lamp. I didn't like that one either.

22 A photo of Master Jacob and Master Ben.

23 The blue bottle is a pump action glass cleaner solution. Humph.

24. In front of the photo is a box of paper clips which also contains address labels, a rubber, lip salve, a button, loose change and a jeweller's eye glass.

25 Just underneath the plastic bag to the right is a silver owl which I gave to my father on his 7oth birthday.

26 A pale green Denby mug with autumn leaves on it; I like this mug it has nice, shape, texture and colours with a matt finish rather than Denby's usual more glossy look.

27. A mug with lions and rhinos on it from Whipsnade Zoo. Yuck. It was for the kids.

28. A china mug by Wedgewood with green teapots on it. I like this because teas tastes so much better when drunk out of a china cup. However, I still don't like the shape.....

29. A pot of Clearsil face cleaning pads. (Yes, yes I know I'm not supposed to have spots at my age...what can I say? God blessed me with youthful looks... and spots.)

30. A packet of Nytol. (Herbal remedy for insomnia)

31 A packet of tissues

32. A pen

33 The silver shiny thing is the contents of the packet of Nytol....

34. Those damn glasses.

35. My mouse. This had been playing up and has now been exchanged for a funky bright red metallic one. Which incredibly folks - I like! ( I chose it.)

36. An empty yogurt pot and spoon.

37. My box of calling cards! I keep these handy because I don't know my mobile tel number even though I have had it for 3/4 years......

Now to the right is a bit more clutter you can't fully see including; another mug, a menu for the Chinese takeaway, a tablemat (no mug on it though) a pot of face cream etc etc etc.......

Also amongst that debris are various pages of my multi coloured jotter pad on which I scribble many things. The latest one reads;

" Remember to never, ever send photos to Paul Burman....."

Well there you go, I'm ousted. This desk is the real me. Messy, creative, silly, sentimental. Just some of the many faces of Mrs T, Housewife Extraordinaire.

Ps - Just spotted the orange bag by the clock - um that's a bag of minature jaffa cakes - enroute via Mrs T's tummy to the bin....

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm not saying I was worried but.......

Okay, I'm not saying I was worried but for a moment this morning I thought someone was going to drive into me!

Well I was waiting to pull out at a rather tricky junction. The oncoming traffic on my right is usually moving at about 40/50mph and slowing rapidly down into a 30mph zone just before traffic lights and the traffic from left is speeding up to move into 50 mph zone. In the middle of the road is the turning lane where the traffic can turn into the road where I am waiting to pull out. The situation is very dangerous for me because I can never see the traffic coming from my left because of there is always a long queue at the traffic lights for the cars on my right.

Hmm... comprehendez? Not sure if I do......

Anyway, the only way to get out unless you want to sit there all day is to edge out slowly craning your neck and hope that no one wants to turn right that you haven't spotted over the roof tops of the queuing cars. (If you're very lucky some kind soul in the traffic queue waves you out.)

Frankly, that road is absolute nightmare and a disaster waiting to happen but anyway back to the story - I'm sitting there waiting for my window of opportunity (In my car obviously not on my bottom in the road) when I look in my rear mirror and notice the car behind is up my backside. ( Okay - perhaps I should explain that "up my backside" an English expression for being dangerously near to the car in front..........)

Well that's a worry in itself, but then I notice that the driver is about 100 and at the wheel of a banger so ancient it clearly should be exhibited at a Museum for Old Relics and Other Clapped Out Cars. It's kinda obvious since he looks like the living dead and is almost bumper to bumper with me that HE SHOULD BE WEARING GLASSES. I mean folks, how many elderly gentlemen do you know of that age that don't need specs? Let's face it most 'em need specs just to locate their flies which they've been fumbling with for God know how many years so of course they should need specs for driving..... it goes without saying......

Okay, I guess you think Mrs T is exaggerating huh? Okay as evidence to you of the gentleman's age I offer to you this evidence;

1. His hat. This gentlemen obviously peaked physically during the Cold War @1955 as he's wearing one of those Russian fur hats on which I suppose were kinda trendy back then along with sheepskin jackets and paisley scarves.

2. His teeth. i.e - He doesn't appear to have any. He's sort of making that munchy "Where have my teeth gone, they should be here somewhere" movement that old folks do -like he's trying to locate them and slip them back into place without anyone but the nurse seeing.

3. His sheepskin jacket.

Right, so I'm sitting there thinking do I risk possible death by pulling out in the road or do I wait for matey boy to ram me up the backside?? Anyway whilst I was deliberating this matter another thought entered my head......

Tom Clancy.

The Cardinal of The Kremlin.

Yeah, you know the book. If not, check it out or maybe Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith and then you'll get my drift.

Uh huh. Now I'm thinking what if this geezer was a secret agent sent over by The Kremlin to follow Mrs T (aka Natasha) and hunt me down and steal my secret Fish Pie Recipe so that they could develop a new and highly toxic chemical weapon which they would then use to hold the world to ransom in exchange for control of the world's supply of Gossard Bras? Yes, I was sure that the evil, toothless Ivanoich Dostovesknyich was part of a huge plan to make sure Russian women no longer had saggy boobs but pert, wholesome breasts like Western women........

And do you know what?

Suddenly, I found myself at home.........

Without my bra on........

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Music Mondays; A fishy tune!

I recently wrote a short murderous tale entitled The fisherman, his rod, his wife and her sandwich which you can find at The View From Here. Whilst putting pen to paper I was reminded of the classic song Gone Fishing by the legendary Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. The song has such a lazy relaxing feel that is just glorious - perfect for a day out by the river! That easy listening sound that was the signature style of both Bing and Louis and has proved timeless. You just can't beat the old guys!

Relax and enjoy!

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to Master Sy!

Yes, today it is the birthday of my blog buddy Master Sy of the incredibly funny The Wheel is Turning but the Hamster is Dead. So birthday greetings to the Young Master of Comedy! Long may he continue pleasing the multitudes and dining out on greasy hamburgers at that odious work canteen he frequents!

But you know I can't believe Sy is only 34 today because with the amount of sexual problems he encounters over at his blog I thought he was at least 90. Well either that or something got trapped in a door when he was a very small boy. Hell, who knows but all that gibberish he writes sure makes me laugh!

Well seeing that it's his birthday I thought I might play one of his favourite tunes. He's rather fond of Megadeth. Unfortunately, out of principle I won't play such horrendous stuff on my site. So tough luck Sy. Hmm... what about a bit of cute Kylie or sexy Christina or maybe the lovely Girls Aloud or even the latest hot totties The Saturdays?? Hmm... no better not.... Sy might experience more of those awful problems.....

Okay, so here's something else which I though was kinda nice. So here it is, especially for Sy from Mrs T (even though he''ll hate it) But hey, it's the thought that counts!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Writing Challenge

Well today I'm going to be occupied doing a writing challenge with the author Gary Davison who wrote that stupendous book Fat Tuesday which if you really haven't bought yet you should be ashamed of yourself. (He pays well. What more can I say?)

Well, I'll fill you in on that in a minute but first of all I just wanted to write a quickie post just to gloat. Yes, I've been looking at my profile details and doing a little fiddling lately and I've noticed that on the occupation section of Blogger Profile I AM THE ONLY ONE LISTED UNDER MY CAREER. Yes, while there are numerous clerks, nurses, teachers, etc etc...I am the only one listed as "Pretending to Housework Badly"

You see I am unique! However, I am finding it a little hard to believe that I am the only woman who has this job. I therefore urge all you ladies across the world to join me in this noble and rewarding career! It is the only career besides being a brain surgeon and a male gigolo worth pursuing! You too can be like me and be entirely dedicated to the art of vacuuming whilst reading the paper, washing the dishes whilst giving the hamster a bath or indeed cooking the dinner whilst surfing the net, waxing your legs and combing the nits out of the kids hair.

( Okay, on second thoughts I'll add anyone who makes a stack of cash to my list of worthwhile careers - cos' well that green stuff is pretty useful at times for buying choccy and such like.)

Right, back to a writing challenge. Gary and I have set each other some words and have to come up with a story based around them. We have to start and finish the story today and send it to each other by tomorrow morning. This is bad news as I've been already been awake for a while and by midday I could be falling asleep on my keypad whilst my chicken hotpot is burning nicely on the stove. Oh well as they say - "shit happens."The "shit" is invariably my cooking but let's not go into details........

(Please excuse my forthright language all you folks of a delicate disposition. As you know Mrs T is not normally so bold but I've just cleaned the carpet (badly of course) because of the latest "deposit" from Cleo The Vomiting and S******* Cat and the word sprung easily to mind. (Tigga The Beelzebub Cat is asleep - mainly because she spent half the night torturing me.)

Anyway, I have two sets of words to choose from which are;

Set no 1

2 Characters; middle aged sex addict ( Hmm... I've no idea where he got that idea from I am Sooo not interested in sex) and a window cleaner. (Hmmm ...voyeurism ???)

Activity - fly fishing. (Okay that's the voyeurism angle out the window - Oh, a double pun!)

Theme - murder. (Okay that's gooood!)

Setting - river bank (Visions of hammy the Hamster the Hamster come to mind. Anybody else watch Tales of the Riverbank?)

Point of View - First person.

Set no 2

Baby sitter and double glazing salesman. (Hmm...potential, potential)

Activity - musical chairs. ( Yes, well. Gary's obviously been going to too many kids parties lately......)

Setting - summer fayre. (Hmm... images of morris dancers come to mind)

POV - Third person or first or indeed both!

Okay, these are word sets I gave to Gary;

Set 1

76yr old life peer
25 yr old busty blonde WAG ( Footballer's wife/girlfriend)

After dinner speech

Corporate balcony at Wembley


Third person

Set 2

An unknown man
A middle aged housewife.

Speed dating

A high society West End nightclub


First person.

Well it 's 10. 20 time for me to get writing or I won't get anything done! I'll let you know how I get on!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Music Mondays; Erase your Imagination!

The Eighties were great weren't they? Not only was the music diverse but it was matched by some equally diverse fashion. When we look back we tend to think of this of the era of New Romantics but there was so much more! The dress sense of the big time New Romantic bands like Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran looked positively tame in comparison to some artists. Even the pantomime antics of Adam Ant and Boy George looked dull compared to The Big Two.

Hmm... so if The Big Two are not Boy George and Adam Ant who am I talking about??

Remember electronic pop? Then how could you forget the totally outrageous Andy Bell of Erasure? Let's have a look at him in one of his relatively tame outfits! Take a deep breath boys!

Hmmm.... Groovy!

But what about that other God of sexy stage fashion? Who can I mean? Why none other than Leee John. Yes, this man oozed pure sex with his slinky tights and glittering sequins; he was the King of Eighties soul! His costumes, sometimes with bulging codpieces, and his wild sexy dancing had the phone lines ringing with complaints at the BBC! Let's see him in action using his Imagination....

If you want a laugh check out some of Andy and Leee's other costumes!

See you next week when I've stopped laughing!

Ps... This post is dedicated to my blog buddy Intrepid who I believe (cough, cough)always dresses conservatively.......

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

My Nominees for the US and UK Elections and Other Waffle

It's the early hours of the morning, and I have had a large gin... Late-night alcohol is always a good recipe for writing gibberish. And...