Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Blogging A to Z: Y is for that Bloody Awful Noise Otherwise Known as "Yodelling"

What I want to know is how do people in Austria and Germany live with all that unbearable yodelling echoing down the mountains, blasting around your head and giving you 24 hour non-stop migraines?

It's no wonder Hitler was insane. No doubt he spent a tortured youth being subjected to hours of incessant yodelling. It must have been like having severe tinnitus whilst simultaneously having your head trapped between two cymbals.

You know, I'm really surprised some great historian like A J P Taylor never came up with yodelling as a suggestion for the cause of Hitler's insanity.

So I'm going to change all that today. Now my historical credentials are excellent as I have a degree in History and this means that no one can challenge my expertise (much). The fact that I haven't looked at a history book for thirty years should be not be an issue as, luckily, I read The Daily Mail which keeps me up to date with all the latest facts and historical opinions.

So, in my capacity as a historical expert, on this day, April 29th 2015, I am putting my theory out to the world.

Hitler was driven insane in his youth by merciless and relentless high-pitched yodelling.

As proof of this I am now going to use musical evidence in support of my claim.

You can easily see from this video how yodelling causes insanity as the gentlemen starring in it has taken to wearing a chimney brush on his head and wearing trousers that are too small for him.

Now in Britain this sort of attire would lead in to incarceration in a lunatic asylum. In Germany and Austria is it leads to madness and an obsession with world domination.

So there you have it - my theory proven. I await my Nobel Peace Prize for research in due course.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Blogging A to Z: X is for X the Kissable Letter

It's time for one of those really tricky letters;


Now in order to get some inspiration for this post, I went onto one of those online dictionaries to look at words beginning with X. Sadly, this left me rather depressed as I didn't know most of them which is a tad embarrassing because, at my age, I should probably know more x words other than Xmas and xylophone. Anyway since it's nearly 11pm and I am too lazy old to absorb new information, I've decided  I'm going to simplify the matter and just talk about the letter X all by itself! Hurrah. I love keeping things simple!

Okay, so X  by itself is often used as an abbreviation for "Kiss". Sometimes girlfriends end their texts, emails and letters with a X as a sign of affection but they never do that with a man unless they are in luvvvvvvv - otherwise it might give a man the wrong idea which might be a bit tricky if he turns out to be a Justin Bieber fan. Sometimes when women are really, really in luvvvvvv they do even more crazy things like this:

This picture was drawn by a very, very sad and obsessed woman.who absolutely,
 definitely , 100% positively bears no resemblance to me whatsoever. 

X is also used as an abbreviation for the saying "X marks the spot" which is a way of identifying a particular place. For example, X would mark the site of a treasure chest on a map.

Similarly, I have an X on the front of Mr T's cheque book, his share certificates and his life insurance policy.

X is also used as a signature if you can't sign you name. I have seen this done twice. The first time was when I worked in a shop and a customer needed to sign their name on a receipt. The second time was at a pub when UKIP leader Nigel Farage was signing his tab. (That's a bill behind the bar.) I was surprised Nigel could only put an X on the tab but, then again, he was standing next to Labour leader, Ed Miliband who had put an "O" on his tab. Maybe Nigel thought he was being clever? Hmm. You know, it might have been a Westminster night-on-the-town as David Cameron and Nick Clegg were playing Paper, Stones and Scissors across the otherside of the room and the leader of the Scottish National Party was wearing a funny skirt and blowing raspberries.

Anyway, it will come as no surprise to my UK readers that our MPs ( Members of Parliament) and politicians get up to all sorts of tricks when they're relaxing, especially on Fridays, now that we have taken up the US tradition of "Dress Down Friday" where folks relax a little at work by wearing casual clothes. Anyway, I found a picture of Nigel Farage on the last Dress Down Friday. I thought you might like to see it.

So that concludes my X post. Only two more letters to go. Since I haven't had much time to read other blogs and comment during the A-Z challenge I plan to catch-up on after the challenge is over. In the meantime, it's good night from Nigel and it's good night from me.

Good night. 


Monday, April 27, 2015

Blogging A to Z: W is for W Words That Really Annoy Me


Whenever I hear the word "wizard" my brain goes numb. But if I hear it in combination with any of the following words: "Harry Potter," "Hermoine," Ron Weasley and "Dumbledore" I pray for spontaneous combustion. If I never see or hear the word "wizard" again it will be too soon.

Weight Watchers

Ugh. For obvious reasons.


A word which strikes terror in every living women.


Warhammer is a war game played with model soldiers that cost an absolute fortune and is mind-numbingly boring on a par with Monopoly (see my "M" post.) The manufacturers of Warhammer also have the audacity to sell the soldiers unfinished which means long-suffering parents of Warhammer addicts have to spend hours gluing the ruddy pieces together or sponging paint off the furniture.

Dire Avenger Shrine Web Bundle
Warhammer - the game every parent loves to hate.


No particular reason. *cough, cough*


I dislike them on men. I dislike them even more on myself. When people mistake you for Popeye it can be very dispiriting.


A word that has unpleasant connotations and is often used in conjunction with descriptions of my derriere.


A word that you increasingly grow to despise as you get older as it crops up in lots of forms and precedes lots of words. For example: weak spot, weak knees, weak heart, weak eyesight and worst of all - weak bladder.


A deeply unsatisfying word. Not one I like to use often.


Because you know that as soon as anyone says "Wittgenstein" they are going to be the most boring dinner guest ever.


A word that has too many associations with small children, earache and painful car journeys.


A word which I closely associate with British Telecommunications (BT) and which has the ability to cause week-long migraines and suicidal thoughts.


A legitimate word but unfortunately, if it is interpreted wrongly, can land you in serious trouble.


A word that grows on you but not in a good way.

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Blogging A to Z: V is for Voters and Voting

So let's talk about voters and voting because it's been an interesting time lately in the US with Hillary Clinton announcing she is going to run for the presidency and in the UK where we are on the countdown to the next general election on May 7th.

In the US it is going to be fascinating to see how women vote and whether Hillary's gender will influence the way people vote in the same way that colour appeared to do so in the election of Barack Obama. Here in the UK, we are one step ahead in our recognition of female politicians with the reign of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister between May 1979 and November 1990. Mrs Thatcher's policies divided the nation and, over twenty years later, their legacies still ignite the most furious and vitriolic debates. However, there's no doubt, that whatever the disputes, Mrs Thatcher will remain one of the most significant politicians of the twentieth century. Her legacy as a women who challenged the status quo and won is even greater.

Embracing change, whether it is on a personal level or as a society or nation is not always easy. We only need to look at the history of feminism and slavery to see that the path to change is often bloody and difficult. Here in UK it is evident we are in a period of political change - the last election resulted in the first full coalition since Churchill's wartime government. And now, as we face another election, no one can predict the outcome with any certainty.

This political uncertainty demonstrates how British voters are aware of the need for change even if they have not yet determined the way forward. Of course, some are focussed on personal circumstances but I think far more are also aware that as a nation, and as a global community, we need to recognise and respond to the increasing inequalities in the distribution of wealth and resources, the consequences of overpopulation and the growing certainty of climate change.

Personal and political change are two of the most consistent themes in my novel The Changing Room (hence the title). In the story, my heroine, Sandy Lovett, deals with personal loss and in doing so rediscovers the political beliefs that lay dormant in her years as mother and carer. Subsequently, when she stands for election to parliament it is a reflection, not just of her personal need to change and add value to her life, but also the need to change and contribute to society.

So to get back to the theme of voters and voting. I think it is very important that voters make themselves heard. In the last general election 65.1% of the electorate voted - but that means 35% did NOT vote and nothing makes me madder than people who moan about politicians and then cannot be bothered to vote. I don't endorse the Russell Brand school of thought that not voting is the surest way of showing public discontent and forcing change. I think it it is foolish to think the status quo will change that way in a democratic society and, unless Brand wants to incite bloody revolution, then the only way forward is to make politicians more aware, and more accountable, through the ballot box.

Like many people in the UK I have lost a lot of respect for politicians over the course of my life. Mrs Thatcher, whether you agreed with policies or not, at least commanded respect. Sadly, some of our recent politicians have been involved in seedy financial and sexual scandals beyond what any of us would consider accidental or affairs of the heart - and here is where our change must start. We need to vote into parliament dedicated men and women of integrity and honor. We need to vote into power men and women who, individually, are capable of putting their differences aside and working with others, if need be by negotiation at a shared table. We need to vote into power men and women who truly understand and accept the responsibilities their job entails and are committed to working for the good of every man, woman and child in this country and the wider world.

Your vote is your voice. Whether you live in the UK, the US or anywhere else, please use it.

(Normal silly service will resume on Monday with the letter W.)

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blogging A to Z: U is for U Cannot be Serious and Uranus

Now I've been thinking over the blogging A to Z posts I've done so far and I've realised they've been a can I say it? Um...

Slipshod. And unintellectual.

Yes, that about sums it up. I think I peaked with the lazy posts yesterday because I actually fell asleep whilst writing my T is for for Thongs post. (That's completely true.) And I woke up at 11.24 pm and all I'd written was a couple of lines and posted a picture. So then I had to find a way to finish the blog post as quickly as I could before I missed the 12pm deadline.

So anyway, I feel a bit embarrassed by my lackadaisical manner especially as, on the occasions I've hopped around some of the other participating blogs, I've found some highly intellectual and informative posts.

So I've decided that tonight I should write something intellectual too. So I'm going to write about Uranus!

Okay, so Uranus is pretty big and round. It has lots of gas and is surrounded by rings.

Pretty interesting stuff eh?

Now to study it further it would really help if you all could now get yourself a partner and we'll get down to the details.

Now, this next bit is a little delicate but it will really help in understanding all about Uranus - so please get your partner to drop their trousers and bend over. If you're a sad and lonely person and haven't got a partner or a friend you can use a mirror.

Now put on some rubber gloves and get some vaseline at the ready.

 Oh excuse me for a moment, folks. Master Jacob (he's the sensible son) wants a word in my ear.


No really?

U cannot be serious.

Well that's not what I was taught at school.

You're sure?

A 100% sure?

You're absolutely sure you're 100% sure?

Yes yes, you can have the last jam doughnut.

Okay folks, I'm back. And I am a tad embarrassed. I'm afraid Master Jacob has told me that I have been misinformed and that Uranus is ..well...not what I thought it was's actually a planet. Like Mars and Saturn. I thought it was well...well...uranus.

Oh gosh. I don't know how I didn't know this at my age. Although it does explain why my science teacher threw me out of a lesson once when she asked me to show her Uranus and I obliged. I thought she was just one of those mad menopausal teacher types - you know the ones - with Jesus sandals and a fetish for artificial sweetner.

Oh dear, dear, dear. I shall have to try and do better tomorrow. I shall have to do something really intellectual tomorrow to make up for today.

I know!

I'll do a post on Venus. I've got lots of knowledge about Venus.

Uranus as seen by Voyager 2
Master Jacob tells me this Uranus. It looks like a ping pong ball to me. 
You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts:

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Blogging A to Z: T is for Thongs

Brace yourselves, readers. This could be a shocking post, especially if you have delicate sensibilities, as I have been asked to write about a rather intimate subject.


In particular, I have been asked to write about this one:

As you can see it is a male thong. Well I think so.  It looks like an extra small size though which means it can't
hold anything much bigger than a pork chipolata,

Now, first of all, I have to state the obvious and what every respectable woman would say.


Secondly, I have to say:




And finally, should you want this thong it is for sale, made to order, on Ebay in the US and so far the retailer has sold 94.

And now I must go to sleep with that disturbing that thought that there are 94 men who own this product.

I may have nightmares tonight.

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blogging A to Z: S is for Snot

Right, here we go. It's 10pm and I have a tube stuck up my nose and down my throat and I feel like this;

Consequently, it's possible this post is going to be very brief and even vulgar. This is because the tube shoved up my nose this afternoon has to stay in place for 24 hours and my nose has been running constantly since then. I've got through a week's supply of loo roll since about 4pm.

I'd post a picture of myself for some extra sympathy (who doesn't love a bit of TLC) but I'm vain and I'm not at my most attractive at the moment. So just imagine the gorilla above with earrings, a tube up his nostril and taped around his face and that's pretty much what I look like.

The hairy legs are almost identical too.

It's hard being a brunette sometimes. People don't realise what we have to go through. All that shaving and waxing is very tedious. I've never waxed my legs though - I'm too embarrassed at the thought that someone might see the wax strip covered in hairs and mistake it for a shag pile rug.

So anyway, let's talk about "snot". It's pretty gruesome stuff isn't it? Especially when it's pouring out the nostrils of a small child. Now, not naming any names, one of my boys had a bit of a snotty habit when he was a toddler and he used to wipe his snot on the bedroom wall next to his bed. Ugh. I had to scrape it off with a knife. I know - pretty disgusting - but what was I to do? I could have painted over it in a deep shade of green, I suppose, But I couldn't face the idea of knowing it would always be there. It would be like a cold sore. Always waiting to burst forth at an expected moment. You could bet your life that had I not scraped it off, if a relative had slept in that bed, a giant snot-spot would have suddenly erupted from beneath some peeling paint.

Yikes. This is a rather tasteless post. I'd better end it here. This tube is getting the better of my good nature.  Ah well. It can only get better tomorrow!

Ps I am quite well and have no serious illness. Just middle age stuff that needs sorting.

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Blogging A to Z : R is for Random Musings

Earlier this evening I asked my two youngest sons for suggestions for my "R" post.

"Reproduction," quipped Master Benedict. hindsight if I could have put a bet on Master Benedict (who is 14 years old) saying "reproduction" I think I'd have won.

"Recession," said Master Jacob. (A sensible lad.)

So by request from my sons: recession and reproduction.

Now since it's already very late, I shall have to be succinct about these two subjects as I have a busy day tomorrow and need my beauty sleep. I'm also having a tube shoved up my nose in the afternoon which means tomorrow's post may well be entitled "snot."

So, keeping it short and sweet, here's my thoughts on the recession.

What a ghastly, ghastly business.

Right that's "recession" dealt with. Now here's my thoughts on reproduction:

What a ghastly, ghastly business.

Well the childbirth side is. The stuff that comes before is okay. But ideally I liked to be paid for it.

Oh - I don't mean in that sleazy Richard Gere/Julia Roberts way. It's just that I read a facebook post earlier where a woman said her husband paid her to do the housework. No, seriously I did! So naturally, the thought crossed my mind whether I could try this "payment for housework" thing on the Good Mr T and whether perhaps I could also elicit payment for some "other stuff" too - as I've seen a really attractive handbag and could do with some extra cash. The bag's a bit pricey - but it would be an "investment" piece. (The investment being mainly on the Good Mr T's part.) I'm thinking my arrangement with the Good Mr T would be a sort of friendly give-and-take martial type of transaction. Not like a proper "business arrangement" as in Pretty Woman. What do you reckon? Workable?

Now rumpy-pumpy aside, (that's a quaint British word for stuff that a wholesome blog like this does not mention) I'm rather glad the reproductive side of my life is on the wane. In fact, if my ovaries are anything like my face they should be close to looking like pickled walnuts. This is all good as it means never again will I have to suffer the agonies of childbirth. My third labour was 24 hours long which is grossly unfair as apparently babies are supposed to shoot out like Buzz Lightyear by that stage. Unfortunately, Master Benedict was so slow coming out The Good Mr T completed an entire Sunday Times crossword and still had time to take several sojourns to the cafe to watch the football.

You know, apparently some women love all that childbirth stuff. (I know it is hard to believe but apparently they do.)  In fact, childbirth expert Sheila Kitzinger once said that some women even find it an orgasmic experience. (Obviously these are women who don't know the value of a good handbag.) However, I have yet to meet a woman who admits to it. Granted, it's not the sort of thing one might admit to down at the pub or in a large room of strangers, but I haven't met any woman, ever, who said childbirth tickled her fancy. And as for women over the forty-five (like my goodself) the majority of them (those who aren't into feng shui and broccoli smoothies) would rather slit their wrists than endure a late middle age pregnancy even if came with a mind-blowing orgasm that lasted an entire week.

So there you go. A quick "R" post. I'll toss in another "R" for good measure. How about "rainbow?"

Rainbows are really pretty. But I've never found a pot of gold at the end of one. I've looked but whenever I think I've got there all I can find is a pair of men's dirty underpants.

Women like to be serenaded. Unfortunately, when you get to middle-age things don't always work out as planned.
You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Day of Rest. Hurrah!

So, if you've come here looking for my "Q" post - I've already done it! It's here.

The reason I've already done it is I forgot Sunday was meant to be a day off and posted it yesterday.


So I shall take the opportunity to post a little more about the author fair and conference I went to on Saturday at Foyles Bookshop in Charing Cross Road.

Firstly, the good news is that I actually got there. And I was on the right day! (As opposed to many of my other appointments where I have arrived a week early/a week late etc etc.) The bad news is even though I caught an earlier train, the train service was doing the usual "leaves on line" business so I was late arriving at Euston. However, although  I was running slightly behind on my initial schedule, I decided I'd time to drop in a couple of my books to a publishing management company near Euston.

Unfortunately, I went to the wrong address.

Well I went to the right address but I didn't realise that their address had an "A" following their street number - which meant they were located in another building.

So I rang them three times to try and verify the address. (Preempting my own stupidity there). Unfortunately, their answer machine was on and nobody picked up. Eventually, after fluffing around and cursing my bad luck for a while, I decided I had to push on so I could get to Foyles on time for the start of the conference.

But, sadly, I got off at the wrong tube station. This was due to the fact I skimmed read the sign that said Tottenham Court Road was closed when it had, in fact, read Tottenham Court was closed only on the central line.

So I got off at Charing Cross tube station and, despite the fact I used to work nearby in Regent Street, my brain went haywire and I totally lost my sense of direction.  Eventually I tried using Google maps on my phone which did work - but only after I'd walked round in circles several times so I could get my bearings. In the meantime, my pop socks were having a bad day and kept falling down below my skirt line which may have made me look bohemian but made feel like a right idiot.

Oh God, I have just admitted to wearing pop socks with a skirt. Ah well.

What can I say  - it was a hot day but not enough to go pop-sock less. If you know what I mean.

Normally, I'm really stylish.

Other than that bad start the day went pretty well. Here's several piccys.

Author Lindsay Stanberry Flynn let me use her picture showing the general scene.
 Lindsay teaches creative writing and writes adult and children's fiction. You can find her HERE

 I'm not in the picture - I think I was in the loo pulling up my pop socks.

This was my little display. I didn't sell a lot (mainly due to the fact it was publishing people
 and authors in attendance - well I hope so!) but the cover to The Changing Room always
 gets a few curious looks. There's something about it that catches the eye.

You can catch up on my blogging A to Z posts follow the links below: 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Blogging A to Z: Q is for The Quest for Freedom

Johnny Potato said his prayers. Death was imminent. The torture chamber, where he'd spend the last few hours crushed between Archibald Onion's armpits and Serjeant Spud's groin, was rocketing to the top of the bag where Master Benedict was poised to launch Operation Shepherd's Pie.

Johnny glanced fearfully up through the clear plastic tub. He could see Master Benedict framed in the light, wearing an evil grin and a blooded butcher's apron.

"I'm going to dig out the eyes first. Then I'll peel them like apples and chop them up into little pieces," chuckled Master Benedict.

Johnny Potato gulped. He'd hoped for a quick and easy decapitation. But, no, he was going to be skinned alive by that vile and loathsome boy.

"It's every vegetable for himself now," shouted Sergeant Spud. "Charge!"

And with that, Sergeant Spud, Archibald Onion and Privates Cornelius and Marmaduke Carrot stormed towards the lid.

"Again!" cried Serjeant Spud as the lid refused to budge.

The vegetables charged for a second time, creating a small gap between the lid and the base of the container. Johnny pushed forward and, with a deep breath, squeezed past Sergeant Spud and Archibald Onion just as the container broke through into daylight. Johnny tumbled back into the dark recesses of Master's Benedict's cavernous bag and landed with an almighty thud as Serjeant Spud's dying screams filled his ears.

Johnny opened his eyes. His head was thumping and his vision blurred. He didn't know how long he had been unconscious in this stinking fetid hell hole that Master Benedict called his "school bag." Johnny gingerly pulled himself to his feet and looked up towards the small gap of light at the top of the bag. Suddenly it opened and a long plastic object hurtled towards him.

"Ahhhhhhhh," said Johnny as a ruler hit him in the face.

"Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh," cried Johnny as a crushed Coke can followed and knocked him to the floor.

"AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH" screamed Johnny as the half-eaten remains of  Priscilla Apple landed on his stomach.

Johnny scrambled back into a far corner as the light diminished.  It was dark, dank and a sweet sickly smell hung in the air. He had to find a way out... and soon. A slow death at the bottom of Master Benedict's bag was worse than being skinned alive.

Johnny reached out searching for a weapon to fend off the next bombardment from his torturer. His fingers touched something damp and sticky. His stomach turned as he realised his hands were covered with what remained of  Lola the Banana who had disappeared from the kitchen two weeks previously.

A tear ran down Johnny's cheek. He knew he had no choice. He knew that if he was ever going to escape Master Benedict's rucksack he would have stoop to depths no potato had stooped before.

And as Johnny acknowledged that this was just the first part of his quest, he ate what was left of Lola The Banana.

The Quest for Freedom will continue at some later date!

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blogging A to Z: P is for Johnny Potato VC

Now I have a  true "P" story to tell you folks tonight. (Believe it or not.) The story is about the potato you see below. I've called him Johnny and I've assigned him a place of privilege on my desk.

Johnny Potato relaxing with  Sgt Percy Pencil,  Corporal Dickie Pen, Bombardier  Bertie Biro and company.

Now Johnny is no ordinary potato. He is a very special potato. He is a potato who has survived extremely hazardous living conditions with little access to air, food and water. He has survived sustained bombardment from heavy objects and missiles. He has survived daily verbal and physical abuse at the hands of the enemy.

Readers, if Johnny Potato was a war veteran he would be awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery. For Johnny has done what no other potato has done before and what no other living creature would dare to even attempt.

So what exactly has Johnny Potato done?

Johnny Potato has spent six whole weeks in the depths of Master Benedict's school rucksack.

Yes, that's right. Six whole weeks.

Johnny Potato went into Master Benedict's school rucksack on March 5th ready to face certain death as part of Operation Shepherd's Pie. But, against all the odds and against all the hardships known to man and potato, Johnny has emerged victorious.

Johnny Potato is what we call in the UK a "Bloody Hero"

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Blogging A to Z : O is for Oranges

I have been out all day in London at Foyles Book shop in Charing Cross Road attending a self-publishing event and book fair, so I'm afraid this is another (very) last minute pictorial post. On oranges. Yeah, I know - pathetic - but they were the first "O"s to spring to mind.

Anyway oranges are not just for eating and scented candles. I use mine for therapy. You know - like some folks listen to music or sing to wind down at the end of the day.

So I make models with my oranges. Here's my latest efforts.

Cool Dude Orange

Sultan Orange
Hellraiser Orange

Well I feel far more chilled now. Cool. Beats singing any day.

And so to bed!

You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Blogging A to Z: N is for No

Saying "No" is not always easy. People can get very upset when you say "No" abruptly. That's why I find it easier to soften the blow in tricky situations. Here's a few examples:

Q.  Do you fancy going to bed early? ( *cough, cough* )

A.  I haven't washed for three days but I'm game if you are.

Q.  Have you ironed my shirts?

A.  Which one were you thinking of?

Q. Can I have an Xbox One, Mum?

A. Is that for Christmas next year?

Q. Mum, will you pay my rent?

A. I'll have to ask your father but I warn you, he's in a bad mood.

Q. Mum, can we go on holiday this year?

A. It's not safe abroad. They don't have proper toilets and the people speak funny languages.

Q. Can we go to America then? I'm sure they have toilets and speak English.

A. You shouldn't believe everything you see on the telly.

Q. You know that story you tell about being related to the Queen. Is it true?

A. Yes.

Q. What about that story about you wrestling with an alligator? Is that true?

A. What is it with all these questions? It's like the Spanish Inquisition. Haven't I always told you to respect your elders?

Q. Is that a yes or a no?

A. I can't hear you. I think I'm losing my hearing.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blogging A to Z: M is for Moaning and Monopoly

I've been thrown a few topics to talk about today and I've decided to plump for two: moaning and Monopoly.

So let's get straight on with the moaning. (It's a speciality.)

Monopoly must be the most boring game EVER. AS a child, I was often coerced into playing it but the truth is I would have preferred Russian roulette. Yep, if there had been a choice between 4 hours of Monopoly or a 1 in 6 chance of blowing my brains out I know which one I'd have chosen.

Now there are lots of hideously boring things about Monopoly. Chiefly, it is not played with real money. I mean who wants to play with fake banknotes? Not me. I want to play for the big bucks. I mean screwing your sibling over some fake paltry rental for The Strand can't possibly compare with the chance to screw him for a grand and blow his cash on some designer earrings. 

Here's another reason to dislike Monopoly - somebody else always gets to be the dog. When I was a kid I always wanted to be the cute little Scottie dog but, no, I always ended up as the iron, It's no wonder I have an aversion to ironing and household chores - I was traumatized by years stuck in jail with a deadly boring iron who had absolutely nothing to say for itself.

However, there's worse than just being the iron and in jail - you could be both of those AND the only houses you own are the two crappy brown ones.

Now that sort of scenario is the kind that makes marriage to Tom Cruise look attractive.

You know, when my siblings and I were playing Monopoly and I wanted to be the dog, I also thought how nice it would be to be a real dog. In fact, I often gazed enviously at our doggie whilst he scratched his butt, licked his assets and slept for three or four hours. The only light relief I got was by faking the onset of diarrhea and making periodic escapes to the bathroom.

However. because I am a positive person and like to see the good in everything (even in board games that clearly should be outlawed) I can say that there is, surprisingly, one good thing about Monopoly - it is excellent for driving away unwelcome household guests.  In fact, I keep my Monopoly board right by the front door and then if anyone drops by and I don't want to invite in them I just say; "Oh great, you're just in time for a game of Monopoly!"

Works a treat. Except for Jehovah Witnesses. You have to use Russian Roulette to see them off.

A fate worse than death.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

L is for Love, Loss and Laughter

This afternoon I was distracted by a ping on my email which heralded some disappointing news. It involved information about quite an upsetting loss. In the scheme of life it was not so great a loss that it is not recoverable from and it in no way compares to the loss of loved ones, pets, lovers, the loss of limbs or anything remotely so tragic. But it was nevertheless a "loss" and an untimely one at that.

Loss is a subject I deal with in my novel The Changing Room which may come as a surprise to those of you who have not read it, especially given its saucy hardback cover. But loss is a big part of our lives and I wanted to write an uplifting story about overcoming loss and moving forward; a tale that offered hope and inspiration to people going through difficult times - in particular middle-aged women, like myself, who are often torn between many roles and facing difficult choices.

Of course, we each have our own way of dealing with the traumatic times in our lives. For me, sharing love and laughter is a big part of the healing process and that is why my book has far more love and laughter in it than loss. Whilst I think it is good to reflect upon one's past - it is also something that cannot be changed and so I believe it is best to look to the future. Preferably with a smile upon your face and hope in your heart.

Anyhow, I came home late tonight from tennis practice with my boys. I had not yet told the good Mr T of my disappointing news. "Come over here," he said. "I want to show you a picture of something I thought I might buy for you."

The picture was of a diamond pendant about the size of a postage stamp.

Well naturally, as diamonds are a girl's best friend, I liked it a lot. (Almost as much as I like one of those giant-sized boxes of Maltesers.)

Image result for box of maltesers
Almost as good as a diamond  and sometimes better than sex! 

So I consider myself very lucky. I have a lot of love and laughter in my life. And I know when I get up tomorrow, whatever the weather, the sun will be shining.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Blogging A to Z: K is for Kings and Kinkiness

Kings and kinkiness are subjects I know a lot about.

Now before you jump to conclusions, the reason I know about these subjects is because I've studied history. And, as anyone who's studied history knows, kings have a habit of being kinky and have been dropping their pants at will since the dawn of civilization. 

The most notable of the kinky kings was, of course, King Henry VIII. Now I need to explain that the "VIII" is not just because Henry was the eighth Henry to sit on the English throne but because he was affectionately known amongst the royal circles as "Eight-Times-A-Night-Henry."

That's right. Eight times a night. And that's after a ten course meal and a flagon of wine. 

Anyhow, there have been many theories about the cause of Henry's death including syphilis, Type 2 diabetes and Mcleod syndrome. But the truth is - he died from exhaustion.

That's what happens when you have too many mistresses, six wives and you have to pull your tights up and down all day and night.

I get exhausted just pulling on my pop socks. I think I went wrong somewhere.

Workshop of Hans Holbein the Younger - Portrait of Henry VIII - Google Art Project.jpg
Henry always stood with his legs apart for a reason.
You can check out the other Blogging A to Z candidates HERE.

Previous posts: A is for Arses and Aidan Turner
                         B is for Bullshit
                         C is for Chinese Crispy Duck and the Conservative Party.
                         D is for Diarrhea, Dinosaurs and Depauperation
                         E is for Eulogy for the Earth
                         F is for Ferrero Rocher
                         G is for Guns and Girls
                         H is for Hope and Horny Jelly Men
                        I is for Igloos, Ignorance and Iguanas 
                        J is for Jason Statham

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...