Thursday, September 30, 2010

An Interview with Paul Burman, Author.

Paul Burman is the author of The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore ( Paperbooks 2008),The Grease Monkey's Tale (Legend Press 2010) and the short story At The Rawling's Place (10 Journeys Legend Press 2010.)

Born in the UK, Paul and his family emigrated to Australia in the late 1980s to pursue a new life. He has lived in Port Fairy for many years and worked full time as an English teacher whilst writing in his spare time. He has been writing since the age of 6. After the success of his first novel Paul now works less hours and spends more time devoted to writing. The Independent wrote that The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore "reveals an inventive, passionate and insightful writer."

Paul, it’s a long, hard track to publication and you’ve been writing since you were a child. How did you overcome all the obstacles and keep yourself motivated?

I’m stubborn. Well, that’s the easy answer. I guess it’s also a matter of identifying so strongly with an idea – a belief or something you want to achieve – that it becomes a part of who you are and, after a while, it’s impossible to give it up (partly because you’ve invested so much of yourself in it that giving up would be too big a defeat). If that makes it sound like an addiction, then that’s probably true too, and I can’t pretend that it hasn’t been accompanied by long periods of darkness and self-doubt; especially when I couldn’t get sufficient interest from publishers or agents. What’s kept me motivated is that I’m very self-critical and, when returning to a piece of writing after six months, if I can see ways of improving it then I feel as if I’m moving forward and making progress; I’d probably have given up if I felt I wasn’t getting anywhere.

What did it feel like that very first moment you held a copy of The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore in your hands?

Unbelievable. As if I might wake up any moment. It probably wasn’t until I saw copies in book shops and began to read reviews that it began to seem real.

The Snowing and Greening of Thomas PassmoreThe Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore is very much about life, loss and ultimately rebirth. You emigrated from the UK to Australia back in the 1980s; I’m wondering did the novel in some way act as the final catharsis for leaving your home country?

I’m not sure if I properly understand your question here, Jane, but if you’re asking whether the writing of Snowing and Greening was a way of coming to terms with that whole process of emigration, then it probably wasn’t. I had few doubts that emigration was the right thing for us and the benefits have outweighed any regrets. However, if you’re asking about the catharsis involved in writing generally, I’d have to confess that because the characters and their stories come to exist so strongly in my head it’s a tremendous, cathartic relief when I feel I’ve finally told their stories in the way they need telling... and I can let them go again.

Is there anything in particular you miss about the UK?

Decent strawberries (that taste like strawberries) and, occasionally, the alignment of the seasons: expecting it to be spring in March rather than September! Old friends and family members can seem far away on occasion, but Facebook, Skype and cheaper international travel have helped overcome that to a small extent.

Your latest novel The Grease Monkey’s Tale is entirely different from The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore. Whilst it still very much your “style” in the use of description and bringing an almost rhythmic quality to your writing it is quite different in concept. I would classify The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore as “literary” but The Grease Monkey's Tale as a “literary thriller.” Was this planned or do you go wherever your imagination takes you?

Both. I planned to let my imagination go wherever it wanted... as long as it went somewhere different. I was determined to avoid writing a similar novel to The Snowing and Greening. Similarly, I hope that Number Three, which is shaping up to be more of a literary horror, will be different again.

The Grease Monkey's TaleThe Grease Monkey's Tale doesn’t have what I would call a “traditional” style thriller ending which was very much suited the novel. However, were you worried that with no obvious “happy ending” the book might be considered a bit risky?

It was one of the things I knew about the story before I’d put too much time into it, and that to try and write it any other way would be a mistake. While I was unsure how the ending would go down with readers, the success of Snowing and Greening (in terms of editorial feedback and reader responses) gave me the confidence to stay true to that.

The Grease Monkey's Tale has strong undercurrents of traditional fairy and morality tales. Your protagonist, Nic, loses everyone he loves but not his life. How would you sum up the moral of your story?

That there is no moral, only moral ambiguity. I think Katherine Mansfield said it best: “What the writer does is not so much to solve the question but to put the question.” Hopefully the book raises a whole raft of questions about the nature of truth, lies, the significance of stories, trust, loyalty, love... as well as primarily being an entertaining yarn.

Both your novels and your short story At The Rawling’s Place have strong themes of love and loss. Of course, all the best books are about the feelings that touch us the most – but I also know you have a sharp wit. Do have any plans to write something lighter/humorous or do your revel in your dark side?

Number Four looks like it’ll be lighter, but I’m not sure yet whether it’ll be humorous. I doubt it. However, I’m not far enough along with it to have all of the voices established in my head and so I wouldn’t completely rule it out either.

How or where do the ideas for your books come to you?

There’s something wrong with my brain! Random thoughts and impressions come from all over the place, at all times of day and night. The only thing I’m sure of is that certain conditions help nurture these thoughts and impressions into ideas I’m able to work with: steeping myself in the Arts – music, literature, painting, dance – along with good discussions, food, wine, plenty of exercise, a stunning environment... and a refusal to seek medical advice when the symptoms persist.

I know you often work on several stories at the same time which helps to keep you fresh and focused. I can imagine that many authors would feel uncomfortable with that method though. How did you discover this method suited you?

Quite by accident. I used to persist with a piece of writing until I thought I’d finished with it, and would often run into all sorts of difficulties along the way. Some people might call this Writer’s Block, I guess. Anyway, half-way through one particular project, instead of agonising about such a difficulty, I returned to a former project and discovered that not only could I considerably improve what I’d already done (for being absent from it for a while), but that, when I returned to the project I’d been half-way through, a way of resolving the difficulty there readily presented itself to me too.

Writing can be a lonely business, perhaps even more so when one writes about loss. How do you deal with exploring such emotions? Do you have a large stack of tissues next to your key pad?!

I have a sponge keyboard. All I have to do at the end of a session is wring it out. It’s also useful if I have a cold!

You're also an English teacher. How do you feel about the way the English language appears to be changing?

Love it. Language is at its richest when it’s experiencing periods of great change. This, I believe, is what made Elizabethan and Jacobean literature so rich – it was growing under the influence of world exploration and improved communication. The same thing is happening now. Political correctness is probably something of a problem when it attempts to censor or eradicate words. I’m all for language growth, am opposed to anything which reduces it. Down with Newspeak!

Has your role as a teacher affected the way you write?

Being exposed to literary texts I might not otherwise have read has been a boon, as has the opportunity for regular discussions about books with my students. I’ve learnt a lot from them and from being obliged to more carefully consider and articulate my own ideas. As for grammar, I went through schooling during a period when grammar wasn’t taught in much depth (a passing understanding of adjectives, verbs and nouns was about all I had) and so, again, I’ve developed a greater understanding about the way language works from having to teach it. That aside, the only thing that shapes the way I use language is the narrative voice, and this knows no rules except to be honest to it.

You achieved a life time’s ambition with the publication of The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore. Do have any further ambitions?

Literary-wise, the moment I start working on another project then the successful completion of that becomes my ambition. On top of that, it’s my aim to increase my readership and, possibly, to earn a small enough income through writing so that I can spend more time on it.

I know you’ve read many books. What’s your desert island book?

Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five is one of my many favourite books. But, if I was stuck on a desert island, then maybe I should take a bigger book and one that I didn’t enjoy very much first time round, like War and Peace. At least, I’d be happy to light a fire with that if, after a couple of months of struggling with it, I still didn’t enjoy it.

Thank you Paul for taking the time out to answer my questions and good luck with The Grease Monkey's Tale!


You can find my review of The Grease Monkey's Tale here on The View From Here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

And then there were Four

So yesterday it finally happened.

We packed the car with his belongings. His room, once his place of retreat and teenage clutter, looks forlorn and empty. The cupboards are stripped bare apart from a few scattered items he no longer wears. The television is wordless and redundant. The window is open and an autumnal breeze rustles the blinds and chills the room.

All is quiet.

Downstairs, it's time to go. I hug my son, my first born child. There's a tear in my eye but I won't allow myself to cry. I see a tear in his eye too but he won't allow himself to cry either. We both know it's time for him to take the first footsteps to adulthood and independence.

It's time for a new adventure.

The car pulls off the driveway. I wave as he disappears into the distance. Slowly, I make my way back to the chaotic kitchen where all the morning jobs still await me. What shall I do first? The dishes? The laundry?

I pause. No, it's time for something else. I reach over to my cd player and press PLAY;


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Me and My (Potentially) Award Winning Cupcakes!

I'm sure most of you are aware that I am an excellent chef...there isn't any type of pizza I haven't unwrapped cooked. Or, indeed, any type of cake I haven't  eaten baked. Other women produce cakes with hints of lemon, cinnamon and coco but I like to challenge the status quo of cooking with my daring recipes. It's not unknown, for example, for my cakes to contain hints of Mr Muscle, charcoal and sometimes even tinfoil.

So, a few days ago, I was suitably thrilled when an email from a women's magazine arrived in my inbox inviting me to enter a cupcake competition. My heart began to beat fast with the anticipation of winning a set of silicon spatulas or maybe even a new pinafore. Immediately, I clicked through and studied the pictures of a variety of cupcakes already submitted by my potential rivals. Naturally enough, there were some amazing entries...but I was not deterred. I, Mrs T, mistress of the kitchen, conqueror of the wedged-in frozen food tray, vanquisher of greasy saucepans and subjugator of chocolate bars would attempt the impossible - to produce a unique cupcake that would reduce my rivals to quivering jelly. The key to winning, I concluded, was originality. Thus, I put on my thinking hat and came up with several unusual designs and now you, Dear Readers, have the opportunity to pick the recipe I will submit...

Right, here we go...

Number One;

The Karl Malden Cupcake.

Inspired by the actor Karl Malden. If you're under 40 and don't recognise the name think The Streets of San Francisco - he was the guy with the big hooter who played opposite Michael Douglas. Hollywood has been the inspiration for many a why not the cupcake? I think this cake will have aphrodisiac qualities as it well known that men with big noses are particularly attractive to women. And I should know... as Mr T has a particularly large conk. In fact one day when we were on safari in Africa a women pointed at Mr T and said "I want a ride on that elephant!"  To which I replied, "Excuse me that's my husband, please would be so kind as not to point at his conk."

Okay, I lied - we weren't on safari - it was Bognor Regis High Street. Anyway, I see this cupcake as being a real hit with the ladies. What d'you reckon?

Number 2

Oh did that get there? Oh yes...I was cleaning the cat litter tray...and well accidents happen...

Um, I'll call this the Chocolate Surprise Cupcake then - with the surprise being that it's not chocolate. Obviously.

Number 3

The Carmen Miranda Cup Cake

More inspiration from Hollywood. Speaks for itself really. A fruity little number with a lot up top. Counts as part of  your daily portions of fruit and veg. Should be popular with vegetarians, environmentalists and anyone who likes a nice pear. Notice how strategically placed the pear is so you can see the delicious shop-bought sponge cake underneath.

Number 4

The Chocolate Drop Cupcake.

A variation on the traditional chocolate sprinkle theme. As you can see, I was very generous with the chocolate sprinkles - mainly due to the fact I opened the wrong side of the container. However, the overall result is pretty pleasing...

Hey, wait a minute..something doesn't look quite right...

Oh no!  Those aren't chocolate sprinkles; they're beef gravy granules. Cripes, no wonder I thought it tasted a little meaty.

Number 5

The Smiling Banana Cupcake - otherwise known as The Piers Morgan Cupcake.

A particular favourite with monkeys, gorillas and readers of The Daily Mirror.

(Oh and if you haven't heard of Piers Morgan in the US - don't worry you soon will. Bad luck.)

And finally Number 6 , my piece de resistance, the ultimate chocolate cupcake...

The Leaning Tower of Toblerone Cup Cake.

Probably the best cupcake you'll ever have. Comes beautifully presented in high quality packaging and a tower of chocolate. What more could one want? A sure-fire winner with any man, woman or child.


This is the The Fallen Tower of Toblerone Cupcake. You can see where the foundations were wholly inadequate and the icing substandard.

Oh well. It tasted good anyway.....

So which one should I submit? Let me know.

Oh, and if you fancy some real quality cupcakes for a special occasion check out this company run by my fellow writer, Jen, at The View From Here. Now that's what I call tasty!

To read my highly academic article (cough, cough) on the delights of the kitchen read my post To Cook or Not to Cook

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Leave Enid Blyton Alone!

No, no, no, no, no!

Isn't it bad enough that poor Enid Blyton has been criticized for years, accused of bigotry, racism and poor writing but now her publishers, Hodder, with the consent of her granddaughter, Sophie Smallwood, have rewritten the adventures of The Famous Five.

That's right - rewritten The Famous Five! The whole series has been dissected line by line and words deemed "old fashioned" have been substituted by the modern equivalent. For example, "mother" and "father" are now "mum" and "dad" and "tinkers" are "travellers." Characters have been tampered with to be made to appear more equal and less gender specific; Anne no longer has dolls; she has teddy bears!

If you've read my article A Childhood in Fiction, you'll remember how significant The Famous Five series was in my development as a reader and how I loved those stories. I was reading those books in the early 1970s when I was around 8 years old and it didn't matter to me that those books were dated even back then. Fiction is a land of escapism, a place to let your imagination run free, to experience other times and dimensions. It doesn't have to bang up to date and politically correct. Children need to recognize and disseminate information for themselves. I just wish those who pursue these politically correct avenues would just for once sit back and think about how much is being lost for sometimes very little gain. Although, in this case, I imagine they believe it will a very big financial gain.....

I've ranted in depth about political correctness in literature before in my article In Defence of Thomas (that's Thomas the Tank Engine) yet I'm not someone who is resistant to change; generally I embrace it. But changing our past? Nope, sorry. That's tampering with history. Even Dr Who will tell you that's not a good idea.

The Famous Five is period literature which has lasted the test of time. Let it remain that way. There's enough talented writers around to write new and modern adventure series if that's what publishers want. This politically correct movement to modify literature really concerns me. Where does such progression become regression and, ultimately, censorship?

To read my article A Childhood in Fiction click here
To read my article In Defense of Thomas click here
To read an in depth article on the changes made to The Famous Five, read this article at The Daily Telegraph.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday; Anything But Lady Gaga

What is this ridiculous obsession with Lady Gaga? All the media seem to be fascinated with her. I like my music and I must have heard her songs countless times - but I can't actually remember any of them. Hmm... I think that's telling me something. Anyway, such is the furore over Lady Gaga I anticipate any moment her saying something as daft as when John Lennon said the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus."

Well that line has been done... maybe she could go for "more popular than... brussel sprouts"? That sounds about right......Ohhhh...what about "more popular than Madonna?" Now that would really get 'ol Madge annoyed wouldn't it? She'd have to go on another fitness regime and then we'd all have to suffer her wearing a leotard and fishnets again.... Cripes, I'm feeling queasy.....

Not half as queasy as when I saw Cher wearing that costume again at the MTV awards though... You know the see-through black stocking one which leaves nothing to the imagination. Not that Cher's body doesn't look great for a 64 years old but teamed with the huge wig and bikers' jacket it just had.... no class. I wonder how I would have reacted if she's gone on stage with her own hair on show and with a more tasteful jacket?

Hmm... me thinks I am in one of my conservative moods this morning. Could be good for the Frank Sinatra Cd sales on Amazon......

Right, who shall we play this morning? Gaga? Nope, definitely not. Madonna? Nope, old hat. Cher? Hmm...I kinda like Cher. Better voice than the other two... "Believe" is a great dancing record and I do have a couple of her Cds....

But no, let's go for something entirely different;

I know which record I'll still be listening to in 20 years.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thoughts on A Pregnant Widow

In a few weeks time I'm off to the Cheltenham Literary Festival which is one of the biggest festivals of its type in the UK. It's a two week event which hosts readings and interviews with some of the biggest literary stars and a number of  presenters, actors and comedians who have also crossed over into the world of literature. I'm only going for a weekend but I've managed to get tickets to see Martin Amis, Sebastian Faulks, Jilly Cooper, Salman Rushdie and Andrew Motion. I'm also (wait for it!) going to a 3 hour journalists course! Um....I'm a little worried I'll be the only student over 40 and the others will be "bright young things" but well...what the hell...I decided to bite the bullet and just go and see what happens. I guess I'm one of those people who just like learning and trying out new things. Anyway I've made an idiot of myself so many times I figure one more time won't hurt.......

So I've got plenty of reading to do; I like to be prepared for such things. I want to be one of those folks who nods their head wisely when Salman Rushdie says " On page 451 when I use a cognitive metaphor rather than a therapeutic metaphor....."

Okay, okay - I won't. You know me too well!  I'll really be thinking...

"I wonder what he'd look like if he shaved off that ridiculous beard? How much was his divorce settlement? Did he ex wife take a signed copy of Satanic Verses with her and sell it on Ebay?"

Yep, you know......the intellectually challenging questions.

Anyway, I've got a serious pile of reading to do; Jilly Cooper's latest novel Jumpwhich was published last week. Sebastian Faulk's latest A Week in DecemberThe Cinder Path  by Andrew Motion, Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis. I'm already familiar with the writing style of  Faulks and Cooper so I'm starting with my weakest areas. Yep, you'll have to excuse my ignorance - but yes; I hadn't read any Amis. Shock, horror! Anyway, I'm now about 100+ pages into The Pregnant Widow and.....

Crikey is it hard work. I think it's meant to be a sort of comedy of manners set in 1970 when the sexual revolution was in full swing. But it's just not working for me. Well not yet. I'll probably stick with it to the end because in parts it's quite entertaining. However, it has that academic, self satisfied feel to it where the author and other well educated fellows from Oxford will be laughing at some obscure joke and the rest of us will be thinking....I bought this in hardback?

So, I know nothing about Amis. So to confirm my suspicions let's Google Martin Amis.....

Yep, he went to Exeter College, Oxford.

Now I'm the one being smug! Ho hum. Anyway, I'm going to finish the book and see what happens.....

I'll think I'll read Jilly Cooper's Jump next. I should be able to breeze through that in 24 hours. After Amis it'll be a bit of lightweight fun. Then perhaps time to tackle Rushdie......

Cripes, there's nothing making hard work for yourself is there? Maybe I should just take a bottle of plonk with me and get sloshed in the auditorium?

Anyway, I'm planning on writing some book reviews for the The View From Here...maybe my first one will be An Evening with Amis, A Pregnant Widow and A Bottle of Plonk.....Hmm...could pull the readers in on that one....... or maybe What's Amiss with Amis?....... or maybe Amis went to Oxford, I went to Wales and his book went to Oxfam. Hmm... that has quite a good ring to it.......

Anyway, time to go. Duty calls.

Right, where did I put that book? I need a door-stopper....

Friday, September 17, 2010

Early Morning Musings

Well there's a bonus of keeping waking at 5am recently - I get time to write! Yep, after weighing myself on the Wii ( I find an early morning shock wakes me up good and proper), watching the BBC news (gotta justify that television licence somehow) and making my breakfast of coffee and yogurt mixed with bran (good for the bowels), I make my way up to my study.

I suspect in these early morning hours I have more time than most to watch the news as commuters are bolting down their breakfasts and rushing off on those tedious and often unpleasant journeys into work. As the autumn closes in and thoughts of winter draw nearer these journeys become longer and more stressful. I remember them only too well from my days working in the heart of London. Trains are delayed by anything from "leaves on the track" to passengers having heart attacks - it's no wonder really with the extortionate price of trains fares and you still might be left standing, cooped up like a chicken with elbows in your face and no freedom to move for a good hour or more.... and your day at the office hasn't even begun! Then of course, there's the traffic congestion, ice, rain........

It's a pity we don't invest a little more in infrastructure in the UK. We pay so much in tax and National Insurance  but sometimes I wonder where it all goes.Oh, and if you're wondering what National Insurance is - that's a sum of money taken off every salary to pay for our National Health Service and our Social Security system - in addition to the standard tax. In 2006-7 NI contributions raised 90 billion pounds.

Everyone, I believe, has the right to food, warmth, shelter and medical assistance. I'm proud to live in a country that cares so much for the welfare of its people but I do sometimes despair of those who abuse our system; who believe that society owes them a colour television, a microwave...a packet of fags......

And governments too. Where do they prioritize? Making decisions isn't an easy job. Not just here- but all around the world. Last week, I had an email asking me for money to help build wells in the third world to prevent children dying from disease. A good cause indeed but when I read that email for a moment I felt blinding fury....

I know the world is a big place but ever since I was a small child and watched the children's television show Blue Peter, we in the UK have been collecting stamps, postcards, metal, clothes..... in fact anything that might be recycled or somehow sold in order to raise money for impoverished and famine struck countries.

That's 45 years. 45 years, saving, collecting, contributing... and the world seems no better off. Every day I read of more poverty, more starvation, more disease. And if our climate continues to change there will be even more disasters... and more death.

Of course, I know that often in developing countries, a lack of resources, political upheaval and religious intolerance results in civil war and terror which compound natural disasters and already impoverished communities. But how much more agony is caused by sheer unadulterated greed, corruption and the desire for power? Where does a just cause become an unjust action?

But look, I don't want to spend another 45 years reading about children dying through lack of water. I don't want to die knowing the world is just as ugly as when I was born. I just want a fair world. A world where people and governments play fair, respect each other and act in the interests of the whole community.

So Government, take my money - but please for God's sake spend it wisely.

Ps- I was going to write about Breakfast TV - Oh well - another day.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gossipy Stuff

It's that time of year again folks. You know the one I mean - no not autumn, although it is autumn. I mean when it's the time of year to think about.... Christmas. Yes, I know it's only September but hey, I used to work in retail!

Yep, I've already got my Christmas cards! How impressive is that! Alright, I'll let you into a secret...I never got around to sending last year's cards. I know, I know, what a slob I am using last year's Chrissy low can a woman stoop!

In my case; pretty low.

But thank goodness for email! One letter, a photo attachment and hey presto the deed is done! Brilliant! Saves paper, money, resources.... I've got myself thinking "green" I'm not sure if I'll actually use last year's cards. Maybe I'll cut them up and make them into gift tags...... Oh come on! Don't be churlish - there's a recession going on! A woman with with 3 kids like me has to make cutbacks! In fact, I did think of amputating the boy's legs to save on the vast amount of shoes I have to buy but then I thought that actually maybe the tyres on the wheelchairs would be costly too..... and then I have do a lot of pushing.......

Pushing. That makes me think of childbirth. And screaming. Or in my case- verbal abuse. Yep, after 3 nightmare experiences I pray that I will never be one of those women who miraculously conceives at the age of 50. I can't imagine anything worse than going to the Doctors believing you're suffering from a bloated, menopausal stomach to be told..."I'm afraid're pregnant."


Not that I should be worried really. A shock like that would probably kill me anyway. Knowing my luck though, when they did the post mortem it would turn out to be a medical cock up and I really did just have a bloated stomach.......

Anyway, there's no chance of my getting preggers. Cos Mr T has had the snip. Now I believe there's about a 1:100,000,000 chance that the tubes where those ghastly little tadpole things come from can spontaneously rejoin. However, since Mr T's "snip" was more like a "carvery" I can rest easy in my bed knowing there's as much chance of his tubes performing some miraculous reunion as there is as me becoming a prima ballerina. ie - None.

Not that I'm not light on my feet Readers - but those tutus are really silly aren't they? They must have been designed by a man. Apparently bras were designed by a man. And I can believe that - some poor sod probably with the misfortune of being called Mr I.M Braless and who couldn't get a girlfriend thought he'd design some undies for women just so he could legitimately looks at breasts all day long.......

I tell you what though Readers. Even if I was a spinster or a nun and called Miss Jockey nothing would entice me to look at those dangly bits that men have all day long. Not without wanting to get out my Paxo anyway. Am I right Ladies? What is about those swinging appendages that just don't inspire you? (Unless you've had half a bottle of red) Yep, I'm afraid to say it but men look a whole lot better in their undies. Gives them a bit of shape......

Well since I'm on the subject of men let's talk about foreplay. Now you know that game you play with your partner where the lady has a head start (not that "head" start - get your minds out the gutter please!) but the head start as in a running race and then the man chases you around the house and then things get fruity (so long as he's still got his undies on) ........ well.... I've finally discovered why Mr T has never been able to catch me! Yes, all the years I thought Mr T wasn't interested and then in tums out the reason the couldn't catch me was because he has one leg shorter than the other!

Yep, all summer Mr T has been suffering with back and leg problems and last week we finally got to the bottom of the problem. How do I put this? Um...basically he's a cripple. Okay, okay so I've been making a few jokes at his expense.... but let me tell you I've suffered for it Ladies. If you think my jokes are bad, you ought to hear his! And the same ones for 24 years! Anyway, now I finally know why when once he was trying to chase me ("trying" being the operative word) and he got his trouser cuff caught on some loose piping  he was just spinning around and around in a circle.....

So anyway Mr T has now got orthotics fitted (these are platforms which fit inside your shoe). So that's him and Tom Cruise then........

Hmmm..... kind of ironic that I've given Tom such a lot of stick and now Mr T has orthotics too. Although to be fair to Mr T he is a pretty tall guy already and well Tom is just well.......... short. Sorry, not many other ways of saying it really. Well not without mentioning Fantasy Island anyway......

Anyway, gotta go - time to get those kids on the bus and Mr T in his wheelchair!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back in Business!

Bad luck folks - I'm still alive!

I know you've all been popping over here hoping to see Mr T post my obituary ("She was an appalliing housewife but she grew on me. No, wait a minute..she just grew...widthways") but I am still in the land of living. Just. Although, if I keep sniffing the kids' glue sticks that may soon change. Hey, it's not my fault my eyesight is failing and I keep mistaking them for my Chapstick. In fact, if it wasn't that my lips keep sticking together I'd never have noticed the difference.

Anyway, it's been the school holidays which accounts for my silence. Fortunately, the Reign of Terror is now over and the the little ones are back at school and Young Sam goes off to university at the end of the month. (Hoist the banners, ring the bells!) Yep, I've finally got rid of one - only 2 more to go!

Nah, I don't really mean that. Of course I'll miss Young Sam - every time I pass Help The Aged and catch a whiff of unwashed fetid clothes I will think of him with affection. What mother wouldn't?

Of course, the really exciting thing about Young Sam going to university is that we will have a spare bed. Oh yes.. and I have plans for that spare bed! I'm thinking... a new, soft (and most importantly) clean mattress, a nice feather duvet, satin linen, plump cushions, maybe an extra throw for those really chilly nights......

Yes, after 24 years, I will finally have a spare bed to escape to which doesn't contain a small puking child or, more significantly, a large comatosed person omitting a noise comparable to a jumbo jet taking off. Now, if you haven't worked it out - I mean Mr T. Not that he has a snoring problem - but the last time he got drunk and went into high decibel mode there was a national security alert. Apparently, David Cameron was woken by the earth tremors and took refuge in his bunker. It didn't wake me up though - mainly because I find the best treatment is actually to stay awake and sniff those glue sticks.

Anyway - no more taking refuge on the sofa! Young Sam is going to be a bit surprised when he comes home at Christmas and finds his bedroom looking like Cleopatra's boudoir. Mind you, with all the potential sexual encounters one might have at university he might come home and decides he likes it. Hmmm...... on second thoughts I don't think there's much chance of that. Ever since I caught him watching Catherine Zeta Jones having her blouse removed by Antonio Banderas in Zorro (in slow motion replay) I've been pretty sure he's been on the straight and narrow....

On the other hand, he might have just been eyeing up her blouse.....

Nope! Stop thinking Mrs T! Your mind is working overtime!

Hmm.....maybe I should just put a clean sheet and duvet cover on.......perhaps vacuum under the bed.....I want to be able to breathe.......

Anyway, I'm back. More gibberish coming soon (and details of my new linen purchases obviously.)

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...