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Showing posts from 2014

How to slow up the pace of life

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I've come to the conclusion that the pace of life is too fast, especially around Christmas. Luckily, I've discovered a good way to slow things up:

1. Hand over the wrong debit card at the supermarket queue. Make sure the queue is really long first so you can slow things up for other people too. They'll be grateful for the rest.

2. Spend several minutes looking for the correct debit card in your purse and bag. Then remove all the contents (except the spare knickers) while you search for the correct card.

3. Announce to everyone in the queue that you cannot find your debit card but luckily you have your credit card!

4. Forget the PIN number to your credit card.

5. Suggest you go to the cash point but then remember that in the amongst all  crap  essentials in your bag you might be able to find enough money left from the Christmas shopping money to pay your food bill.

6. Laboriously count out all the cash in your purse. Ransack every pocket, crevice and seam in your handbag an…

Santa knows what's good for him!

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So you thought Santa was a bluff old fool being misled by a host of  demanding kids? Not so, dear readers, not so! Santa has taste; he has style. He is one cool dude.

How do I know?

Well, this morning I was sent this picture:


The Problem of Facial Hairs - Again.

What is it with facial hairs when you're over forty? My chin feels like a badger's arse at the moment and I look like Popeye after an overdose of spinach. If any more hairs sprout I'll be able to pluck them and start my own business manufacturing scrubbing brushes and garden brooms.

God, the menopause is depressing. I've never been that keen on the idea of taking drugs but as I get older the idea of hallucinations and days spent slumped over the sofa as opposed to watching foot-long hairs sprout from every conceivable hair follicle is becoming more attractive every minute. I've always liked being a brunette because it gives a woman way more intellectual kudos (even if you don't get to party so much) but, as an older woman, being a brunette is a living hell. The only plus side is there's no fear of England every being invaded again as I've written to the MOD and told them that all they need to do the next time some assailants set foot on our land is to g…

A personal perspective on living with Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis and cancer by Derrick LoRusso

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Before I begin I'd like to thank Mrs. Turley for letting me write on her blog. So if traffic suddenly stops coming to her blog after you read this she knows who to go after. Thankfully, I live in Canada (Or as you Brits call it “Across the pond"), so she's got a long swim to get me. Not including the rabid polar bears and the bone chilling cold. 
I was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when I was six and Crohn's disease at eight. (Or as I call it "The Ultimate Weight Loss Program.") Ever since then it has, quite literally, been a roller coaster ride on the “Tilt-a-Hurl 2000.” Every day I question if I'm going to breathe easy or I worry about coughing up phlegm. A lot of people have shot me dirty looks because of coughing fits that randomly pop up. My stomach will get into knots of pain at random, causing me to be, literally, out for the count all day. About a year ago, I was also diagnosed with a tumour on my pancreas. Cancer does run in the family, but I t…

The Quest for Cures

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Have you ever seen a child short of breath?

Have you ever been fearful your child might die?

I think every parent has, at sometime or another, had macabre thoughts. If you're lucky enough to have healthy children then those thoughts might only be fleeting but, if your child has a serious illness, you may have lain awake at night, tossing and turning, whilst your imagination takes you into the places that every parent fears. It's tough when your child is ill, no matter whether it's a cold or cancer, because for most of us, our children are the central pivot of our lives. Perhaps the love of parents and carers - is the greatest kind of love - love that is unselfish and bounteous.
My second son has a peanut allergy and asthma. Luckily, he is extremely fit and these days his asthma and peanut allergy make very limited appearances. He has only been treated for asthma in hospital once and, on one further occasion, for anaphylactic shock. On a day-to-day basis I have very little …

Writing For A Good Cause

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Today, I am breaking away from the usual silliness on this blog to introduce you to Legend Press author, Linda Huber. A few months ago, Linda spontaneously bought and reviewed my novel and since then we have become Facebook friends. It was through one of those fleeting Facebook feeds, and quite by chance, that I noticed Linda was contributing to an upcoming charitable anthology. The two beneficial charities rang bells with me and I immediately decided I wanted to support Linda and her writing partners in their very worthwhile cause. Today, I'm leaving it to Linda to introduce the anthology but later in the week, as well as reviewing the anthology, I shall be telling you why supporting Linda's endeavours is personal to me. In the meantime, and with no further ado, here's Linda...


Hi everyone and first of all huge thanks to Jane for letting me loose on her blog this week… (brave woman). The bad news is she’s much funnier than me, but there’s good news too – I’m here to tell y…

Bargain Alert, Bargain Alert!

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I've just got home from Morrisons petrol station where I saw such an absolute bargain at the checkout that I feel compelled to inform you of it, dear readers, so that you can rush out and get it for yourselves.

This was the wording I saw on display at the checkout:

Customers spending over £15.00 will receive a voucher for three minutes of FREE air.Vouchers valid only on day of purchase. 

What the *uck? I am sorry to let that slip out - but I've never seen anything so ridiculous in all my life (except this blog of course). I mean, I appreciate the FREE air (no doubt factored into the £15.00) but I can only have it on the day of purchase? Is there a rush on air or what? Is it in short supply? Is Cameron going to start taxing it or what? I am gutted, absolutely gutted, I cannot pick up my FREE air tomorrow. I am going to complain to Morrisons about this - I spent £100 in the store and another £50 in the petrol station and I can only pick up my FREE air today? What sort of customer…

Reality is Dangerous

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I know you all thought I was dead. But I still have a few years left in me. So says my taxidermist.

So what have I been doing?

I am not sure - but in the last week I forgot the dentists (again), broke down in Mr T's car and was stuck on the A5 for 3 hours in the dark with Master Jacob only wearing his tennis shorts, the central heating system failed, the school rang me for a second time to remind me about the forms that Master Ben has failed to hand in since September and I gained 1lb in weight despite having gone swimming six (yes SIX) times.

In addition the upstairs bathroom light only works after twenty pulls and the downstairs one blows all the fuses.

Just an ordinary week for Mrs T then.

The good news is the plumber has already come and fixed the central heating. The electrician is coming at 1am, the car is at the garage and I have started a diet.

Everything else is not resolved.

And that was just last week. You don't want to know about the preceding weeks.

Now, sadly, th…

I give in!

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I give in.  I've been trying to hold off.  But I don't think I can hold back any longer. The excitement and intrigue is just too great.

All that gossip, scandal and name-calling.

Yay!

Sometimes a woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do.

So, I just bought KP's autobiography in hardback. Cos there's no way I can wait till June 2015 for the paperback and I'm not paying £7.47 for the Kindle version.


The Pen or The Finger?

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I am in my kitchen making a cup of tea when I see an attractive man in his thirties approach my doorstep carrying a parcel. This doesn't happen very often. (That's the attractive man knocking on the door - the parcels come a lot. In fact, Amazon would probably go into receivership without my custom.)

I open my front door and take a closer look at my visitor. I decide he has modelled his appearance on George Clooney's semi-bearded look. This is pleasing to the eye but doesn't quite have the same impact as Gorgeous George is a six-footer and the delivery man is like Tom Cruise in stature. Somewhere six inches has gone missing.

Still, I'm not one to complain about six inches.

So I smile as he breaks into conversation.

"Would you mind taking in this parcel for your neighbour?"

"Sure." I reply.

The man hands over one of those electronic signature devices where I am supposed to sign for receipt of delivery. For a moment I am perplexed as there is no s…

A Haiku Stink

Master Benedict: I need to find a three word poem, print it off and take it into school.

Mrs T: You mean, a three line poem. A haiku?

Master Benedict: Yes, that's right. A haiku.

Mrs T: Let's look on the net.

Mrs T pulls up some haiku websites

Mrs T: How about this one?

Master Benedict: It's crap.

Mrs T: Yes. How about this one then?

Master Benedict: That's crap too.

Mrs T: Hmm..yes it is. This one?

Master Benedict: No.

Mrs T: This one?

Master Benedict: No.

Mrs T: This one?

Master Benedict:They're all crap!

Mrs T: Umm..yes. Most haiku is crap.What about this one ?

Master Benedict: I suppose it will have to do.

Beans are kind to hearts. 
I like to eat them daily. 
And then do big farts!


Master Benedict: It's still crap.

Mrs T: Yes.




Culpability and White Lies at Tesco

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A few days ago, I read with interest the breaking news in the UK that the FTSE 100 UK-based firm, Tesco, is under investigation for financial malpractice. Like many others, including shareholders whose investments have plummeted, I will be interested to discover the possible extent of the wrongdoings and the degree of culpability amongst the top executives.

Since the global recession and the collapse of some banks, we are all more acutely aware of the malpractices and corruption that can occur within big companies that are driven to produce ever-increasing profits. I wrote about big business, corruption and culpability in White Lies, one of my stories in my collection, A Modern Life. The main protagonist, William Baxter, is a tyrannical profiteer who relishes his ruthless reputation until, one day, he meets a blind woman who unwittingly changes his perspective on life. The twist in the tale though is, by the end of the story, where Baxter is redeemed from his abhorrent ways, the blind…

We're still better together

So we've got to keep flogging haggis in our English supermarkets.

I knew those cunning Scots were just trying to get my hopes up about us banning haggis imports.

Now, if we can have a referendum on Europe, we'll look even more like a democracy. Cameron's promised one in 2017, if he gets re-elected.

So that'll give Cameron and his cronies two years to convince us the rest of Europe really cares about us.

Good luck with that one, David.

Yes, I know I shouldn't be cynical. The truth is, I am all for European unity. I'm a liberal, forward-thinking kind of person. In fact I'm more than happy to see an exchange of imports and exports.

We'll take some Belgium chocolate and the rest of Europe can take the haggis.

Seems only fair.

The French can keep Gerard Depardieu as well. Apparently he drinks 14 bottle of wine a day and recently was caught urinating in an air-plane aisle.

That's the sort of problem we can do without. It would give a whole new meaning to …

Just because it makes me laugh

If Scotland vote YES, Fred Perry will become the last British male to win Wimbledon (1936)...... again!! pic.twitter.com/Vawo1MfdYb
— The Betting Bar (@TheBettingBar) September 18, 2014



Blimey, I wish Scotland would go to the polls more often. I've spent all day laughing.

"Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" - Oscar Wilde

Last night I watched (for about the third time) the action movie, The Rock.

I laughed my socks off when Sean Connery (weather beaten ex-SAS released from prison to help fight renegade marines) quoted Oscar Wilde (witty Irish dramatist) to Ed Harris (balding bad guy) in that all-knowing way of his - creased forehead, one eyebrow slightly raised and talking out the side of his mouth.

It's the Scottish referendum today and with Connery noted for his Scottish patriotism, his character's usage of the quote "Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious" rather appealed to my sense of humour.

And then after I'd had a good old chuckle we got back to the deadly nerve gas and blowing up the bad guys.

Yay.

And just because it is referendum day, I am going to throw in another quote:

"I realise that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred, no bitterness towards anyone."

Edith Cavell.




Bad Timing - Again

Why is it that on one of the very few mornings I have overslept in my entire life it is the one morning I had booked an 8 am dentist appointment?

I am still getting over the shock that the boys have gone to school and Mr T has gone to work with without waking me.

The dentists have now given me a cancellation for 8 am tomorrow. Please God let me remember.

Anyway, I have done a quick survey of the house: I am not convinced the boys have had any breakfast, brushed their teeth or, in Master Ben's and Mr T's case, taken a packed lunch - although there is a rogue plastic container on the kitchen cabinet. I think that's as far as they got before the effort of making a sandwich proved too much.

Nobody had remembered to let out Miss Agatha, our last remaining chicken, into the garden. She was lodging a formal protest which roughly translated went like this:

w******! No eggs for you anymore w******!

Other random news:

I came back from a coffee with two friends on Tuesday and, as I p…

The Breaking Voice

I am quite sad that in the last week or so young Master Benedict's voice has begun to break. In a way it signifies the end of an era.

Some of you may remember this funny video of him playing with his plastic machine gun.



More recently, he was filmed at Wimbledon.





The next time I post a video of him he'll probably sound like Placido Domingo.

On another note - I am going out later and I plan to put a bra on.

 (See previous post if you're confused.)


Give Me The Booby Prize

I have just returned from the local post office where I was sending off a package. Just as I was handing it over, the post office clerk looked at me with amusement and said:

"Your top has fallen down."

I looked down at my cleavage with horror.

Unfortunately, I was still wearing the camisole top I was wearing in bed last night.

 And I had no bra on.

Watch out for clips of CCTV footage on YouTube entitled "Braless Woman Shocks Post Office Clerk."

God, I hate the menopause.



Bye Bye Joan

How sad to hear that Joan Rivers has died. I enjoyed her superb wit and self-deprecating humour immensely. She was the only true international comedienne and a wonderful entertainer. I think she's gonna have them rolling in the aisles beyond those pearly gates.

One must always look on the bright side of things though as did Joan when times are tough. Therefore, I hope it isn't too bold of me to say:

I am optimistic that Joan's jewellery collection will be buried with her.






More Menopausal Stories

Good news, readers!

Yesterday I went swimming and I remembered to see to my bikini line! The bad news is - it was only when I was having my pre-swim shower that I realised I still had my reading glasses on my head.

Still, that was not quite potentially as bad as Wednesday when, after I had started up the engine on my car and was just to pull-out from the garage, I remembered I hadn't actually paid for my petrol.

It is possibly that sometime in the next couple of years I may be arrested for something that I have no idea of what I have done.

Please God, I hope it is not shoplifting. Please.

Horror upon Horrors

Ladies, I know you will share this moment of ultimate horror with me...

Yesterday, I went swimming for the first time for several weeks. I walked leisurely along the side of the pool which was full of children, parents and a few foolhardy swimmers, like myself, who were prepared to brave the onslaught to our ears. I lowered myself into the pool and began to swim at a gentle pace, blotting out the noise and relaxing after a few fraught weeks.

And then, dear readers, I had my moment of ultimate horror.

I realised I had forgotten to shave my bikini line.



Game, Set and Match

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So, as usual, I am spending the summer holidays on the tennis circuit. This year has been slightly different as last week Master Benedict got the chance to play at Wimbledon in a national U14 tournament. He reached the last sixteen of the singles and won the doubles title 6 - 4,  6 - 1. Being only 13, if he gets through the qualifying rounds next year, he will get a chance to compete again. I'm looking forward to him taking on the might of the LTA sponsored kids and seeing just what he can do at the next level.





My boys, Jacob and Ben, now hold nine county titles and one national title between them but, despite Jacob being no 1 in our county almost consistently since the age of nine and Ben since the age of seven, in all that time they have only received £300 of funding between them - which will just about pay for two reels of their tennis strings. Unfortunately, in order to get them to the next level, it looks like I'm gonna have to write some sleazy sex and gun-toting blockb…

Should Scotland vote "Yes"?

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So it's the early hours of Sunday morning and, as I have insomnia, I have been occupying my time by reading the news over at The Guardian.

Yes, I've been trying to take-in some big words and long sentences over at the Guardian. Toughen myself up enough so I can open-up Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall without gulping.

So anyway over at The Big G they've got some high profile writers giving their views on whether the Scots should vote aye or nay to stay in the union. (You folks abroad may not know but, in the autumn, the Scots are voting on whether they want to still hold hands with the rest of the UK - or whether they just want to do it discreetly behind the bike sheds.)

Anyway I thought it was appropriate that some lesser known folks i.e -  me and a few of my buddies should have our say too.

Now firstly, I should say that my experience of Scotland is two weeks in a small cottage with my in-laws in a remote field in 1988.

So we're not exactly starting on the best footing.…

Word Crimes and Fashion Crimes

The musical parody of Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines by Al Yankovic is a fun reminder to us all about the value of literacy. I've no objection to people cutting corners with their grammar on social media - but I do think it's important they know how to use it correctly in the first place. I'm starting to get the hang of text-speak myself - if I'm pressed for time I occasionally substitute "u" for "you" and sometimes I substitute "No way!" for anything which would normally be a 5 page rant.  I'm also  trying to brush-up my vocab by working my way through Mr Blobby's Guide to the ABC. I am up to the letter F. Which is handy as I find f-words invaluable.

You see I like to keep up with the times. I know you lot think I'm an old stick-in-the-mud but I'm actually a forward-thinking and liberal person. Some might say I'm even fashion-concious and trendy. In fact I recently bought some trendy black leggings. Although I had to…

It's that time of year

Yep, it's that time of year when I double my intake of painkillers - the school holidays. So that means I am not around so much merely because every time I settle down to do some writing I get a request for food.

You see the problem with teenage sons is they never stop eating. It's okay for you parents of girls because they are almost always watching their weight but try adopting three sons and then you'll know real misery. As soon as I've washed up from one meal and sat down with a coffee a Young Master appears from nowhere with one of the three following questions:

"Have we got anything to eat?"

 "What's for tea/lunch/breakfast?"

 "Have you been shopping yet?"

Now since I like to look on the bright side of things, I am consoling myself that Young Sam is still away at college completing his MA so my food-making capacity only needs to be a two-thirds output. However, the bad news is the two younger masters are both very sporty and can …

Day Five of The Five Day Positive Thinking Challenge

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And so it's time for my last five positive thoughts:

1. I am really hoping that some of you folks out there will rise to the challenge of setting me some new topics to write about on my blog. It can be ANY topic you like - except religion. Even I don't go there - it's too easy to upset folks. Which I probably do anyway but it's only the zealots who want to burn you at the stake that you have to worry about. And I'm still too young to be roasted. (Just.)

2. I am hoping if I get some good topics and I write some entertaining posts, I'll include them in my next book. So please leave a comment or email me via my contact page if you have a topic you'd like me to get my tongue around.

3. This is the cover to my next book - coming later in the year. I like it. It makes me feel slim. It's not an entirely accurate picture of me obviously but reasonablyrepresentative.





4. I got my paperback delivery yesterday and my bookmarks. This means I can now flog my books ou…