Showing posts from May, 2013

The Problems of Language

Language can be a bit of a problem. Speech can be a bit of a problem. If you're an Irish Jew with a speech impediment it might be a bit of a problem. (Although the good news is that you will get a job on the BBC.)

What I'm trying to say is: sometimes language and accents can be a barrier to good communication. To which I offer up this following true story:

Live Cricket, Graeme Swann and the dilemmas of Twitter

I have been debating whether or not to join Twitter on and off for several years. But yesterday I came as close to it as I have ever done. In fact, if I'd had my phone to hand I probably would have joined up.

The reason for this?

I felt the urgent need to communicate to England cricketer, Graeme Swann, and tell him to stop gobbing on the pitch and picking his nose.


A Post for Depressed Writers: Ten Reasons to be Happy and other random jolly thoughts.

I am sick to death of reading articles by depressed writers or writers pretending to be depressed. It's so depressing I'm actually thinking about killing myself.

Okay, maybe not: I like living too much. Living is interesting. You know - wine, sex, that kind of stuff.

However, I am seriously beginning to wonder if some of these arty types are faking these depressions because they are everywhere. I mean everywhere. For example, I am minding my own business, humming and happily "researching" and I click on what looks like a jolly looking writer's website which might have lots of useful tips and I find...

The Wizard of Oz and too much skipping

Yesterday I was walking across the tennis car park with the Young Masters. This is the conversation that followed:

Master Jacob: Mum, why is the Wizard of Ozso gay?

Mrs T: (Slightly perplexed at the unexpected topic): Because it's an old film. It was made long before the film studios decided every other film should be about shooting the crap out of each other in 'Nam.

Master Jacob: Oh.

Mrs T: That was when movies had lost of dancing and skipping in. In the Wizard of Oz it went like this..

*Mrs T dances like Judy Garland on the yellow brick road*

Master Jacob: (Eyes wide open, mouth aghast) Did they really do that?

Mrs T: Yes. The Tin Man, The Lion, The Scarecrow and Dorothy all looped arms and danced down the yellow brick road. Come on then, let's do it together!

*Master Ben (laughing) and Mrs T skip off across the car park*

Master Jacob: Mum, stop it! Stop!

*Master Ben and Mrs T carry on skipping and dancing while Mrs T sings*

Mrs T: We're off to see the Wizard, the W…

One boy is difficult, two boys are trouble, three boys spells catastrophe

I have an almost piece of exciting news - I got an honourable mention in the Nerdwallet competition for my suggestions for Mother's Day presents! In fact, I think I may have come close to winning as I got an email from Nerdwallet asking if I had duel nationality as the rules didn't allow UK entrants - meaning I would ineligible for a prize if I couldn't come up with some evidence. I thought about pretending I had some evidence - and then an image of Tony Blair appeared before my eyes and I remembered that lies are not always a good idea.

(By the way, I was actually solicited to enter this competition so I was slightly naffed off at potentially missing out on a $1,000. I just thought I'd mention that as I don't want to look a complete jerk for entering a competition that I wasn't in fact eligible to enter. Anyway, the good folks at Nerdwallet decided I could have some linky love and what's more they may even broaden their rules so that next year I can enter m…

An Update on my Desk

Yesterday, I was reading an article over at Novel Spaces about personality types: going by the replies of other writers I worked out I was probably not your typical writer and I am definitely not a "Judging" personality type. (Unless we're talking politics where I am happy to offer my judgements, especially ones that include the words "Labour,""Farcical" and "Over my dead body.") The author of the article, Julie Luek, describes the judging personality as thus:
Judging (J)—Enjoy a planned, organized lifestyle. High amounts of loose ends and unplanned interruptions will disrupt a judger’s sense of calm. They’re great with checklists and love the sense of completion of getting a task crossed off. Deadlines and a clean, organized workspace are comforting. This statement brought back to my mind the topic of my desk which has cropped up on this blog several times before. In my postI am a Fraud! I admitted to trying to hide the truth about my desk. …

Another Eurovision Song Contest Disaster

So it was yet another Eurovision Song Contest failure for us Brits last night. We came in nineteenth position - out of the twenty-six finalists. I voted (in my mind only as I'm not prepared to waste my money on it) for Greece because of their high kicking dancing fiasco and also because the Greeks need a morale booster with all that economic mess they're in. Now don't go saying I shouldn't have voted for the best song because no one does that in the Eurovision song contest anymore so I am justifying my actions for no other reason than blatant favouritism towards men in silly costumes. Also, I voted for Greece because the telephone operator kept rejecting my requests to vote for the Swedish meatballs.

So costumes by Jean Paul Gaultier, tedious voting procedures from exhibitionist TV presenters, Greek dancing,  Swedish meatballs, a woman wearing a funeral wreath riding an imaginary bike, cheesy small talk and strained smiling akin to having a poker up the backside and Gr…

The Penny Farthing and The Best of the Best - especially for the gentlemen at The West Point Academy

I'm afraid I have to revisit the subject of the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel again. Bear with me. It's not all repetition.

Now since I first wrote about how Master Benedict asked me if I rode a bike with one big wheel and one small wheel when I was a child back in August 2011 this blog has been inundated with hits from people searching for the name of the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel. I subsequently enlightened the world with the correct terminology in my post The Bike with One Big Wheel and One Small Wheel . Later, as I was still so astounded by the lack of knowledge about the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel I wrote another post which, amongst other vague ramblings, talked about my ideas for a documentary on the subject.

However, a strange and new development has begun to take place in the last few weeks. People are still Googling the bike with one big wheel and one small wheel or variations of it. But they are also beginning to Googl…

Excuse me whilst I swear

A couple of blog posts ago I wrote about turning up at 8.20 am with my boys on the wrong day for their dentist's appointment.

Today, I forgot my own.

Yes, at 9.28 am the dentists rang to tell me my appointment was at 9.20. What I want to know is - with my track record why don't they just ring me an hour before?

Okay - I know the answer - it's because they charge you for missed appointments. Great. Now I've got two bills to fork out for. Humph.

Excuse me whilst I swear.

***** ****! !

On an entirely different matter, my short story The Princess and the Thief is featured as a staff pick on the short story website ReadWave. I'm going to pat myself on the back because frankly I need to cheer myself up as I know I'm going to get yet another whopping dentist's bill next week. Somehow, my dentist always seems to find stuff to do on my gnashers. I think he actually enjoys dentistry. In fact, I know he does. He's always showing me his new gadgets. Once, he even to…

My top ten tips for Writers (sort of)

Okay, Readers, you'll just have to bear with me whilst I write this post as I know most of you don't come here to listen to me talk about writing. However, it’s come to my attention that at some point almost every writer likes to impress with their top tips for writers. Almost inevitably, these are a variation of the same stuff which makes it exceedingly dull - especially as it seems like everyone who's ever written anything at all - from a childhood essay which won third prize in the under thirteen "My Summer Holiday" category to retired pensioners who previously have only written exclusions clauses in their will -are all now writers. Writing is the new big thing: it's almost as exciting as wearing a onesie.

So accordingly, as an (almost) writer I’d like to give my own take on the top tips for writers. I think that's only fair. So here we go:
1. Most writers say:
Keep a notebook handy so you can jot down all those random thoughts that pop into your head i…

Gifts for Mother's Day Under Twenty Five Dollars

Okay, so I got this email in my inbox inviting me to contribute to a competition hosted by Nerdwallet for ideas for a gift for Mother’s Day for $25.00 or less. This is not something I normally do but I thought what the heck I might as well give it a shot. My ideas don't fall into any of the judged categories. But who cares? I don't. I've got three sons. I've got my enough problems without worrying about judging categories.
Obviously, my first thought was to ask my mother:  she’d be sure to know for sure. Unfortunately, then I remembered she was dead.  So, screwed at the first hurdle, I’d knew I’d have to come up with some original ideas of my own.
Firstly, as I’m British and this is an American competition I had to convert the $25.00 gift scenario to pounds: it’s £16.08. My initial response to this was: what kind of joker is proposing that men only spend $25.00 dollars for Mother’s Day? Answer: only a true nerd. Yep, you can bet Sly Stallone doesn't spend only $2…

Who gives a monkey arse about Twitter when there's Pinterest!

Ohhhhhh what shall I pin to Pinterest today?

*Dances joyfully around room*

Okay, okay, okay, I admit it. I have way too much time on my hands lately. Master Ben has been off school for three consecutive days. Master Jacob was off school for three days the week before - I am going quietly insane.

Okay maybe not that quietly.

I just need some quiet time. Alone. I want to do that artistic author thing - contemplate major philosophical ideas, be reflective and pose artistically at my desk without any interruption from children wallowing in self pity that they're ill and bored.

I mean: three days off school? I would have been leaping for joy when I was their age if I was off school for that amount of time. Unless I was so ill I couldn't walk, couldn't see and had dysentery I was at school every single sodding day. All my boys have had is sinusitis. Huh - I would still have been going to school with sinusitis AND doing fifty press ups in the gym.

Now what shall I pin on Pinteres…

Addicted to Pinterest

Okay, so I decided I have to branch out with this social networking thing in order that one day it might help with the promotion of my novel.

I am still wary about Twitter. But... I have discovered Pinterest.

And I am hooked. There is nothing I like better than writing silly captions for pictures. Apart from writing silly stories.

Anyway, I will be back soon with tales from the gym as soon as I've posted some more pictures. I think that means that I probably won't be doing any housework today. Again.

You can find me on Pinterest HERE. Join me if you're on it!