Friday, October 23, 2009

They're Back Once More!

Back in February during one of my Music Monday posts I talked about the announcement of the reunion of 80's supergroup Spandau Ballet. Well this week saw the release of their new album and single Once More.

Once More is an album consisting of some of their biggest hits updated and two new releases including the title track. It's a fabulous song and with Tony's splendid voice, Gary's consummate composition skills and Martin, Steve and John's musical abilities if Once More is anything to go by then Spandau Ballet's comeback maybe one of the biggest comebacks of recent times. Let's face it the guys make Take That look like amateurs!

Here's the new single;

I love it! Fancy having a hint of how they've reworked some of the old hits? Then check out this free album sampler courtesy of The Guardian newspaper. I liked what I heard and I'll be picking up my copy as soon as I can!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Supermarket Fantasies!

Okay, I'm gonna spill the beans this morning. I have a secret. And it's time for me to come out! No, not that kinda "come out" I just mean just admit the truth!

You see, I have a fantasy where I'm in the supermarket and suddenly I burst into song and dance, everyone joins in, the whole supermarket goes crazzzzzzy and the manager is so taken with my dance moves he gives me my spuds for free. You know - rather like that bit in the film Fame where all the kids start dancing in the streets and leaping on cars. Yep, that's my fantasy - cartwheeling down the bread aisle, shaking my butt amongst the loo rolls and vocalising amongst the chocolates. Heaven. Sheer Heaven.

Blimey, I'm soooooo bored with shopping that even making a trip to the supermarket loo and inspecting it for cleanliness provides some light relief! I'm a total utter failure as a housewife because making the decision about whether or not to buy toilet cleaner with limescale remover just doesn't light my fire. Fact. And as for whether to buy economy, home brand or Heinz baked beans - it's hardly Mastermind. I mean I used to be an intelligent woman but now I think my brain has solidified into a grey mass that very probably resembles a mummified gerbil. In fact, I reckon if I did go on MasterMind my special subject would now to be something like "The History of The Shopping Trolley 1986- 2009" or "The Life and Times of Lord Sainsbury" or "Nestle Cereal Packet Designs 2000 - 2005."

Yeah, so much for having a degree in History; I can't remember what I did last week let alone who Chamberlain was. In fact the when Master Sam asked me did I know about Chamberlain and his "piece of paper" I thought it was a new brand of toilet roll.

Anyway, what I want to know is if I started getting down in Tescos or Sainsburys would anyone join in? I mean I don't want to be getting down all by myself whilst the old biddies are huddled in the corner timing how long it takes for the ambulance to arrive. So anyone care to join me next time I'm in Tescos?

Anyway, I guess you're wondering what brought this rant on. Well I was on my way home from yet another super dooper life enhancing trip to Tescos when I heard a tune on the radio that has been getting my feet tapping lately. (I should point out at this juncture that foot tapping is not too good an idea if you drive a manual car.) So when I got home and duly plonked the shopping down where I like to leave it for several hours defrosting before shoving it in the freezer before the salmonella start reproducing and went to have a look at the video on You Tube.

And what did I see? The lovely Michael Buble who sings I Just Haven't Met You Yet has stolen my fantasy! How dare he! I am going to sue him for copyright of my thoughts! It's outrageous and what's more it shouldn't be allowed because he's a man! And as I am woman, shopping is my domain and I therefore demand return of my fantasy! I'm calling Mr Buble up and I'm gonna give him a piece of my mind! Yeah, right now!

Well okay, just after I've listened to his fab song one more time....

Huh. Blonde women. They always get the best parts. I would have done it for free. Although it might have had to have been head shots only


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Name My Pussy!

I have a house guest!

Sometime before my two cats Tigga and Tash died earlier this year, I realised that another cat was visiting our house in the dead of night. Sometimes I heard the cat flap bang, a tin fall on the floor and in the morning tell tell footprints on the kitchen work tops. My cats never made a fuss and just let the cat come and go - I guess Tigga and Tash weren't up to fighting and as Miss Cleo, my remaining cat, is as daft as a brush The Interloper found no resistance.

Then one day, I inadvertently locked the cat flap one way only and the next morning there it was - a big, furry, black and white cat who looked extremely well fed and like he might need a course of slimming pills.

Well as it turned out he was a stray because over the summer months my neighbours and I have watched him get thinner and more frightened. A number of times I've approached him and he would run off but last Saturday morning I found him crying outside my door, skinny and ravenous. He'd quit the "I'm gonna be a tough old stray" lark and decided he was gonna move in. Maybe he realised I was now 2 pussys down and there was room at the inn. But I tell you he has taken to my house like a duck to water. Miss Cleo hasn't managed more than a few girlie hisses while he lies resplendent on my sofa and dining out on her chicken. He seems perfectly at home, is easy to lift up and stroke and what's more the children are delighted with their acquisition. Of course, I said I'd never have any more pets but well...I can hardly refuse a poor hungry cat crying on my doorstep just when winter is setting in.....

Well since The Interloper seemed exceptionally well house trained Mr T didn't make too much of an objection. But Houston we now have a problem. Because today The Interloper ventured upstairs for the first time. I was in my study typing and Miss Cleo was sitting at my side and in walks The Interloper. Cleo hisses, I turn round and check there's no sign of an impending cat fight. All is well. I turn back to my PC and then I hear it....


Cleo's ears tweak, my ears tweak. I hear it again...


I get up and peer behind the chair in the corner. The Interloper is decorating my carpet - in a major way. It is probably the biggest piss in history; he must have been saving it up since the millennium. In fact, I have time to go to the bathroom, return with the litter tray, put him in it and he is still weeing!

Hmm. This is not good as Mr T has a very sensitive nose. He can tell just by raising his hooter in the air on the doorstop whether or not I've done the laundry. I swear to God his mother trained him at birth to distinguish the difference between Persil, Ariel and Fairy Automatic. Anyway, this is bad news for The Interloper, so I've scrubbed the carpet, covered it with carpet cleaner, scrubbed it again and sprayed it with perfume twice. I've even cooked curry for tea to disguise any remaining odours. In fact I shall be cooking curry all week I think; Balti, Rogan Josh, Korma. In fact anything that has a potent smell; I might even slip in some smoked haddock jut for variety -Anything to save The Interloper from the clutches of the evil Mr T...

Anyway, I need a name for The Interloper. I've been racking my brains and all I can come up with is....


Yes, yes. I know that is sooooo predictable for Mrs T. But just think - I get to say all those things I've always wanted to say!

"Bond, will you please please stop pawing my breasts!"

"Bond Baby, you are so silky I can't stop stroking you!"

"Bond Honey, will you stop licking right now it's ruining my concentration."

"Nudge the door closed Bond; I don't want anyone to see us cuddling"

" Don't stop purring Bond, it's driving me crazy!"

Yeah, you get the idea. So I'm thinking The Interloper probably needs another name. So.. anyone want to offer up any suggestions?? I pay well - a kilo of smoked haddock and a slightly burnt Chicken tikka.

Okay So let's have some serious suggestions please or I'll be committed to 15 years of corny Bond jokes!

Here he is;

Do your best folks!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Music Monday; Oh No, Not Another Boy Band!

Yes, yes alright I do like boy bands! Now I've had to endure a little rib tickling from some quarters about my fondness for such groups but I think it's perfectly healthy for a woman of my advanced years to be looking at young men. You know - it keeps the mind active! I mean I've got to fight off the dementia somehow haven't I?

One of my favourites Boy bands of recent years is Boyzone. I played one of Ronan Keating's solo songs a while back but with the sudden death of band member Stephen Gately, aged just 33, I feel in the mood to play one the group's songs. So here we go;

That was great! Stephen had a lovely voice and I regularly enjoy listening to him and his fellow bandmates on their Greatest Hits CD. Now by all accounts Stephen was a very pleasant man so last week when I picked up the Daily Mail, as I do about once a week, I was deeply shocked to read THIS ARTICLE written by their columnist Jan Moir. Frankly, I cannot remember the last time I have read such a rude, crass and downright offensive article. I was not the only one who felt like this because I have since read that The Press Complaints Commission website was so deluged by thousands of complaints it actually crashed. In addition some advertisers have either complained or withdrawn their adverts. And rightly so. It was an abhorrent, insensitive and factually incorrect article with unpleasant overtones. Heaven knows what poor Stephen's friends and relatives must have felt on the eve of his funeral.

Now the least offensive remark that Jan Moir said was;

"A founder member of Ireland's first boy band, he was the group's co-lead singer, even though he could barely carry a tune in a Louis Vuitton trunk. He was the Posh Spice of Boyzone, a popular but largely decorus addition."

Well I beg to differ; I think he sang pretty well. In fact let's hear Stephen sing on his own;


And as for the rest of Jan Moir's article.... Let's just say I will be voting with my feet and my wallet.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Year On...

Well today is a day which has been looming in my mind for quite sometime; it's the first anniversary of my mother's death.

It's been a tough year. My mother was not just my mother but also my best friend and I've missed those times where we shared personal triumphs or upsets. As we travelled through life it was those intimate moments that brought us closer together. Learning to share our thoughts, feelings, opinions and problems made the bad times better and the good times happier.

A few weeks ago I took delivery of some of my mother's furniture. Her small two seater sofa and matching ladies' chair now sit comfortably in my study which is looking more and more like a parlour straight out of a Jane Austen Novel. (Although perhaps not quite so tidy!) Most of the time I'm still at my computer but sometimes I just sit in her chair and read just like she used to do.

And you know I rather like it that way.

My mother on The Costa Del Sol in about 1952

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

School Photographs.. Don't You Just Love 'em!

Mrs T is walking from the school gates with her good friend Mrs B (Also known as Fordfocus mum in my comment sections) deep in conversation. It goes something like this....

Mrs T; Have you seen Master A's school photo yet?

Mrs B; Yes.

Mrs T; I think Master Ben's is the best school photograph we've ever had. Kinda ironic as I haven't got anyone to send it to this year. Can I send one to you Mrs B?

Mrs B; I think you should save yourself the money.

Mrs T; What! You don't want a piccy of the lovely Master Ben?! Shame, shame on you !

Mrs B; I was thinking of getting a jotter pad with Master A on it.

Mrs T; Yeah, I was thinking of getting a book mark.


Mrs T; How sad are we??

(Mrs T and Mrs B dissolve into uncontrollable laughter.)

Huh. I'm gonna have a moan. Look, what is about this school photo thing? I have years where I don't have a decent picture and I have to send off piccys of my kids to relatives looking like Jekyll and Hyde and now all my folks are dead I get a decent piccy. That is so unfair!

What's more, it's so infuriating as I can't even buy one simple piccy for myself cos these school photos are always arranged in huge packets for people with millions of relatives. For example;

Packet A :
3 10x7 inch photos,
2 5x7 2" photos,
6 5 x3.5"photos
4 3.5 x2.5"photos.

So that's 15 photos for £28.95 for which I get another 9 mini prints and a calender thrown in free. Hurrah!

Hmm... maybe I should have the gift pack;

1 10x7" photo
4 "FUN" 5x3.5"photos
1 10x7 calender,
3 photo bookmarks
9 mini prints.

All for the lovely sum of £22.50!

Hmm.. would someone kindly please explain the "FUN" elements of the 5x3.5 photos are? Perhaps they come equipped with darts so Master Jacob can throw darts at his brother? Or free colouring pencils.? Now I'm not a cynic, as you know, but somehow me thinks maybe the "FUN" element is for the photographer who is raking in my hard earned cash for photos I don't need.

Look, to be speak plain, I haven't got any aged relatives left who aren't mad or bonkers. And those ones would be hard pushed to recognise a picture of themselves let alone a picture of my son. Yep, so why, why, why do I need trillions of those tiny photos that are gonna plague me for the rest of my life?!

You see, if it's a piccy of your child you just can't throw it out even though they might look like they've got a severe facial deformity and been hit over the head with a giant saucepan. It's just not moral! Yep, for years I have be plagued by small photos of my boys with bad haircuts, monstrous spots and lop sided squints popping out of my drawers and albums. In fact, whenever I clear out a drawer and I reach the bottom I usually scrape the remaining debris into the bin. This usually consists of receipts, bills, an obligatory solitary screw, buttons, pins, the missing part of a toy I was gonna fix 3 years ago, some paracetamol dated 1998 (Okay better keep that), several decomposing sweets that have amalgamated with a collection of disused batteries and a voucher for 50p off if I spend over a fiver on haircare before Christmas 1978. And of course...lying at the very bottom, face down, is a small rectangular shape... I flip it over....and....

Oh God no! It's Master Sam looking like Quasimodo! Nooooo!!!!!

Okay so what can I do with it? Do I want to be reminded for the rest of my life that Master Sam went through a "living dead " phase? No. So I look furtively around. Can I make it to the bin without anyone seeing? I creep into the kitchen, peep round the door and just as I posed with my hand over the bin...

"What have you got there mummy? A picture of Sam! Why he looks just like me! Shall I put it in the album?"

And I'm thinking.... I now have two sons who look like the living dead...... God help me! Where are those paracetamol?!

Okay, so here's Master Ben's winning photograph; (Now removed folks.)

Oh, he looked soo sweet! And that's just how I see him with his grinning smile and cheeky eyes! What a handsome fellow! He reminded me of this hugely attractive, soon to be sex goddess and housewife extraordinaire;

Okay. That piccy was before I had my teeth done. So no comments please. And if you're wondering why my fringe was lopsided it's because my dad used to cut my hair.... We were poor for goodness sake - it's not that he was a scissors-wielding nutter you know! Well I don't think so.....

So anyone want a piccy of Master Ben? I can also do bookmarks for £2.50, fridge magnets for £6.00 or hey if you're feeling adventurous a mouse mat for only £5.00!

Yeah, okay you can have them for free. Just so I feel good. But don't forget to send him the Christmas cheque please - he's saving up to those ears pinned back.

Well toodle pips for now. And please check out my latest offering to the BBC- The Therapy Blues. probably won't find any useful remedies if your feeling under the weather but hopefully it'll give you a giggle or two.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Sunset over Coral Bay

In our daily lives we are often so busy working, commuting and fulfilling our obligations that we don't get the opportunity to appreciate the really simple and beautiful things in life. I know I don't. More often then not, I'm travelling when the sun is setting and although I frequently glance at the sky and fleetingly admire the beauty, I never really have the time to watch the day turn into night.

I suppose that's the real bonus of holidays. Having a little bit of time away from the daily grind that allows the senses to re-awaken and take in our new surroundings. The tastes on our palettes, the fragrances in the air, the warmth of the sun seems so incredibly vital and strong. Maybe that's why holiday memories are often so poignant and remain with us for years.

It's pretty hard work entertaining a family wherever you are in the world but there was a few quiet moments I recall in Cyprus that made my holiday memorable. Late at night, when all was quiet, I got to swim in the pool by myself, float on my back, and gaze up at the stars. One night I was convinced I saw a shooting star... and I remember thinking to myself There's a story in those stars.

Then down at the beach one evening I took these photos;

You know sometimes words are not enough.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Toilet Talk

Well it's time for another installment about my holiday in Cyprus. I know you're all still intrigued to know how I got on with the lavatory problems so let me tell you I managed to survive. It wasn't the ideal situation for a refined lady like myself but that decontamination suit worked wonders. Being fully prepared for the worst (including packing 3 packets of nappy sacks) I managed to cope with the horrors of cleaning up after 5 males. Not easy, I know, but then the drugs do help.

In fact the most memorable toilet experience I had was actually at Pathos airport where on entering The Ladies I found it was spotlessly clean with an attendant in residence. (An almost unheard situation in the UK.) This meant I could relax and upon entering the toilet compartment I could actually contemplate sitting on the loo seat and not adopting my usual squatting position.

Now I've often wished I had lovely long thin legs but when it comes to using public loos stout legs are a major advantage. For example I don't have to grip the loo roll holder for balance thus ripping it off the wall or call for the attendant because I've toppled over and trapped my head under the door. The disadvantage is that sometimes I forget to stand tall again and find myself walking around the shopping precincts like Quasimodo - Although this does have the less obvious benefit that I might pick up one of those lovely young gentlemen from the New Zealand Rugby team.

Apparently, The All Blacks Haka war dance scares the hell out of the opposition. I can see why because the thought of 15 grown men letting loose in front of me would be like finding out that Pierce Brosnan is a cross dresser. Mortifying.

By the way I should add that I don't do the Haka arm movements. (Unless there's no loo paper and I've hung my bag on the back of the door.)

Well back to the loos at Pathos airport. Well after getting up the nerve to actually sit on the loo (which was most comfortable) I thought I'd follow in the tradition of most men and sit there for a good half hour and let a queue form outside. I therefore pulled out my copy of Rugby Weekly and did the crossword.

Three Across. "You don't want to do it in Cyprus." Four letters. First letter S.

Hmm.... that's a tricky one.

So anyway after I'd done the crossword, whittled a boat out of the loo brush, ruminated about whether or not Kylie Minogue ever actually goes to the loo and regretted that I hadn't brought my pipe, I felt it was time to stop doing the male thing and make an exit. So I got up.

And then it happened!

No, no , no - I didn't give birth! Oh come on now, you didn't think I'm that stupid are you? Nope, I made sure I'd never give birth again after Master Benedict was born by booking the good Mr T an appointment with " The Butcher." And let me tell you that for a small sum of money and a tickle with my feather duster "The Butcher" does a very good job indeed. In fact he did it so well that for a while I thought that not only would the good Mr T never produce a little soldier again but also that he might never walk.

Kinda satisfying really.

Anyway, I stood up.... and the loo flushed.

I mean it flushed ALL BY ITSELF.

Well that was it - I was thrown into a major panic. What had I done or touched to make the loo flush? Or had I simply overstayed my welcome and been "Timed Out"? My God my imagination went into overdrive. I began to wonder if there was an invisible screen behind where the security guards sat...

" Hey, Johnny see that Brunette in No 9 she's been in there far too long. Let's flush her out."

I tell you, some times it's a major problem having a vivid imagination.

Anyway, I quickly realised that the Big Brother concept was a bit far fetched so I started to waver between an infra red beam and a heat sensor on the loo seat... Or maybe there was a pressure sensor on the loo seat? Or a timing device? Or maybe the loos were just haunted? Maybe some poor woman drowned in the loo by trying to get her granny knickers off in a hurry, tripping over them and wedging her head in the bowl? Maybe she wanders the loos at Pathos Airport seeking vengeance on women with quick release crotchless knickers?

That's not me of course. You'd never catch me in draughty knickers. I like 'em spot welded on with a padlock and key for extra protection. A girl's gotta feel safe you know, especially in high winds.

Anyway, I still haven't got a clue how it flushed. Does anybody know how these things work? If so please tell me.

Anyway, I gotta dash. To you know where. Need I say more?

See You Soon!

Ps The answer was "Spit." Really, did you think a nice girl like me would think of anything else:)

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...