Monday, April 30, 2018

S is for Selebrate

Okay C is for celebrate but given this is the last day in my present job which has been a nightmare from day one I think I can take a grammatical liberty. I am overjoyed to be leaving.  The last three weeks where I have stuck a smile on my face and pretended I no longer care if the staff arrive late, the stock is missing and put up with the daily grief have been a test of my endurance. So with only 9 hours to go I can now SELEBRATE.....

Give me joy in my heart keep me praising
Give me joy in my heart I pray
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising
Keep me priaising til the end of day

Sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna, 
Sing Hosanna this is my very last day
Sing Hosanna, Sing Hosanna
Sing Hosanna forever and a day!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

R is for Rollercoaster

I am currently on a rollercoaster of emotions.

On the whole, I believe I have coped admirably well give the unenviable situation I was left in 20 months ago.

There have been times of utter despair though. No doubt about that.

Currently, I am working out my notice for my present job. Work has been the one thing that has kept me going over the last 20 months. Focusing on doing a good job, building a career again has been very important. Not just for financial reasons. So it has been a huge disappointment that my current role has not worked out. I feel angry too as I invested a lot of time and energy and took a big hit with trainfare to pursue it and I don’t really feel I’ve had the support I should have done.

Consequently, my emotions are all over the place. The trouble is when new troubles arise they trigger off the old ones and the whole situation escalates into an overwhelming rollercoaster of emotions. It can be very debilitating.

I am trying to write my way out of the situation. I am now 30,000 into a new book and I have 6 more working days to go in my job. I wonder how much I can write in that time?

Q is for Quaint

Quaint is a funny old word. Not many people use it these days. It means “attractively old-fashioned or unusual”.

Perhaps how you might describe Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher, a Tudor cottage or a gentleman in a bowler hat.

I never really thought of myself as quaint before but in my present role I have come to see that as I do have some rather old fashioned values which include:

Turning up to my job on time.

Carrying out my job to the best of my ability.

Trying to perform tasks in a timely and expeditious manner.

(Obviously, none of these rules apply to housework. Ho hum.)

I think I shall now buy myself a twin set and pearls and move to small rural villaage and investigate the untimely disapperance of the Church flowers.

Friday, April 20, 2018

P is for Pants

Okay, so I'm going to talk about pants. British pants. Not American pants which are, in fact, trousers.

Got it?

Just to clarify, British pants are knickers or G-strings, boxers, hipsters, Y-fronts, cami-knickers and so on.

American pants are the outer garments we call trousers in the UK. I'm clarifying this just in case Mr Trump ever reads my blog as I heard the last time he'd drunk a little too much at dinner and the waiter asked if he wanted a bombe for dessert, he hit on Syria. 

So, I’m starting a new job soon so, as most women know, that kind of situation calls for a little investment whether its makeup, perfume, shoes or some other goodie.

I’ve decided on pants.

Because after diamonds, pants are a girls’s best friend. You can always rely on a good pair of pants to keep you safe from unexpected breezes, wandering hands and damp toilet seats your male colleagues have misfired on.

Big, large, black cotton pants. High waisted. Thick elastic. My favourites. Maybe a little lace on the edges for a touch of feminity.

Now if I get a super deal on my new pants, I might be able to put the money I've saved towards an extra gift to myself.

I’m thinking trousers. Not pants. Big black ones. High waisted. Thick elastic. Maybe a belt for extra security.

Yeah, that should do. Roll on May the 1st when I can face the world wearing my new pants.

O is for Over

My current job is almost over. I have 8 working days left. I will probably weep for joy when I leave what has, undoubtedly, been the worst experience of my working life, both paid and voluntary. And I have done an awful lot of jobs.

Of course some people don’t count voluntary work as “work.” It’s just a hobby. They only see “work” as a job which is rewarded by a pay check. But without the thousands of volunteers in charities, youth groups, sports clubs, schools and institutions our society would be a lot poorer in every way.

So this stage of my life is almost over. Hopefully, soon I can put this job and the other unhappiness of the last few years behind me. I am now back writing here on my blog and elsewhere.

And when I write the sun begins to shine. Maybe that’s something only other creatives can understand but doing what makes you happy is a huge bonus in life. And I have been very lucky that my writing often makes other people happy too. And that is truly a wonderful feeling. I anticipate in a few weeks I will start writing the sitcom which has come to forefront of my mind whilst I have been doing my present job. Hopefully, then the only tears I will shed will be tears of laughter.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

N is for Noise

One of the things you begin to appreciate more as you get older is silence.

I remember when I was a girl and I would ask my father what he would like for Christmas or his birthday and he would always answer “P &Q, P&Q”.

Which meant “Peace and Quiet.”

As I get older, I appreciate more what he meant. And the world has got a much noisier place since I was a child. Sometimes the noise is debilitating.

These days I think there is nothing better than sitting in the quiet and listening to the sound of nature. Maybe take the time out to reflect or relax.

Today, I am by myself for a few hours at home. Rarely, is it so quiet in our house. It is so quiet I can hear the clock ticking.

My father was a wise man.  He died in 1999 when he was 73. It will be his birthday on May 1st.

I will light a candle in his memory and be thankful I had wonderful parents.

M is for Motherhood

Motherhood is a job. Some people don’t think it is. Perhaps they think it’s all tea and gossiping.

I’m afraid the only women who might be doing that is are the mega-rich ones who pay someone else to look after their kids.

I’ve always taken my role as a mother seriously.  And I gave up a lot, including a career, to put my children first and give them the best start in life filled with love, support and affection. And, despite one or two hiccups on the way, they are three successful and fine young men with super qualities and lovely natures.

It has not been easy though. Being a mother and being responsible for someone else's life is a tough call. It's not like the cut and thrust of business where people are just numbers on a payroll. Sometimes when they were little I slept on their bedroom floors when they were so ill I thought they might die. At other times,  I've stayed up all night to proofread essays. I've run from feeding one baby to calm the other who was having night terrors until I was in state of near exhaustion. I've watched them be defeated and weep at losing in their sports and fought to rebuild their confidence. I've helped them to overcome amongst other things dyslexia, depression, disappointing exam results, rejection and anaphylactic shock.

Just like other mothers. And 9 to 5 mums too.

There have been times I have been so exhausted I have wept. Particularly when my younger children were babies and my husband would never get out of bed to help.  There were other times I was so frustrated when I had to deal with their educational problems and depression by myself I could have screamed.

Of course, silently, I did scream. By I held myself together, sometimes only by a thread, because I am a mother and I take my responsibilities seriously.

When I die I know I will have done my very best for my children. I won’t regret that I didn’t have a big career, or a swanky big house or a fast car.  And, yes, my boys they won’t have had luxurious holidays when they were kids or inherit a tonne of cash because I chose not to work but I know one thing, for sure. They will always love me and I will always love them no matter what happens. I will always be by their side to support them in their choices, their highs and their lows and I will never let them down.

So, ladies, next time someone puts you down or gives you no respect because you took time-out to be the mother that nature intended turn the other cheek, walk away.

Don't don't let someone else's skewed perspectives on life and values get you down.

You deserve better.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

L is for Late and Luck

So I’m late on the A to Z.

Now I don’t mind being late when it’s called for but I am never late for work. At least not without very good reason and I always take the time to inform people that I’m running unavoidably late.

I shall be tackling the subject of lateness in more depth when I am in my new job. Expect a corker.

In the meantime, I have had a stroke of luck. I have been offered a job which means, hopefully, I can leave my present job earlier than expected. I just need to agree a date.

Bells ring, hands clap, choirs sing, “Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah”! Praise the Lord.

I haven’t had much luck for the last few years. In fact, I’d say the only stroke of luck is I haven’t dropped down dead from stress and exhaustion yet. Yee Ha!

Hopefully, this will be a turning point. Fingers crossed.

I’m playing catch up on the A to Z. Hopefully back on track soon.....

Friday, April 13, 2018

K is for Knee-jerk

Have you ever given a knee-jerk reaction?

One of the skills I’ve learnt as a writer is to be patient and edit what I say. It’s a valuable skill as a writer. But it’s made me more cautious about expressing my opinion or giving knee-jerk reactions and I’m not sure that is always healthy. Sometimes, I’ve written out emails and texts which get right to the heart of what I want to say quite bluntly. But fearing the consequences, nine times out of ten, I leave them in draft until I’ve calmed down, sometimes for days and a lot of the time I never send those emails even when I have every valid reason to press “send”.

Primarily, this is because I’ve realised over the years it is often a complete waste of my time and energy corresponding with people who can never see someone else’s point of view, who have zero empathy.

You might as well invest your time in doing something constructive. Like putting out the bins.

However, there it is quite satisfying about giving an honest, full-frontal reaction. And letting go of pent-up emotions can be a good thing because keeping them in can make you seriously ill.

I have had a few situations lately where my intensity of emotions was so great I have given knee-jerk reactions.

And on reflection, I still think they were the right reactions. I was brought up with a strong sense of what is right and wrong and fair and my parents were kind, generous people.

And I realised I should stop consenting to these person’s poor behaviour by not speaking up. Because often these people are bullies. Bullies in relationships or bullies in the workplace. They rely on people’s fear and good nature to get their own way. And if I don’t speak up I am allowing them to continue riding roughshod over myself and others.

So maybe less thoughtful editing from now on. And more shooting from the hip is what’s needed.

Yes, I think so.

So, a question. If you’ve given a knee-jerk reaction, how did it work out for you?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

J is for Jane Who?

Over the last week, I have written 18,000 words of a new book. I plan to finish it in the next 28 days. I’m on track though as the as the average novel is only 90,000 so I’m already a substantial way into it. If I continue at the rate I’m going, I will have more then enough material to whittle away anything superfluous.

I’m not sure if I’ll publish it. It may be a bottom drawer book. Most writers have several of these: Books where they learnt their craft or books that didn’t work out as planned. I have one too. This may or not be another one. It is too soon to tell.

However, it is not comedy. Although there are glimpses of my humour. Life would be dull without humour...

I have spent ten years building a writing career which has, sadly, stagnated due to the difficulties in my personal life. But no more. I have decided I shall continue to write comedy under my present name. However, when I step outside of comedy I will write under a pseudonym.

In the course of time, I will probably reveal this name to those of you who have become my friends and long-term readers. I haven’t decided on my name yet so if you’d like to particpate in throwing some ideas around now’s your chance.

All suggestions greatly received!

I is for Ignoramus

I wonder how many people know what “ignoramus means”?

I looked it up just to be sure.

Basically, it’s a posh word to describe a stupid person. It’s the sort of word quarrelsome academics or posh folks who went to public school would use to describe each other...

“I read Charles’ paper on Lichtenstein. Pompous twaddle. He really is an ignoramus.”

“I was at the Club the other night and bumped into Wally. Total ignoramus. Wally by name, Wally by nature I’m afraid. I heard his father was Master of the Hounds. Can’t believe it. Surely, must be the son of a grocer.”

It’s also the type of word historians use:

“The Prime Minister had a penchant for pigs and referendum. In all likelihood, history will not look kindly on such an ignoramus.”

“When he turned his attention from Britain to Russia, Churchill knew Hitler was not just evil, but an ignoramus of stupendous proportions and, ultimately, Britain would be victorious.”

So to sum up, ignoramus is not the type of word you’ll find on this blog. I’m pretty blunt so I think someone’s an idiot I just tend to come out and say it. That said, I’m going to make “ignoramus” my word of the week and try and say it as much as possible now.

If  I say enough, I might get offered a job in banking or Westminster so I can work with other ignoramuses.

Hmm. The future looks rosy. I love the idea of dining out on expenses. Awesome.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

H is for Homeless

Since I have been working back in London, I have been appalled by the number of homeless people I’ve seen. It is so much worse than twenty years ago when I first worked in the capital.

In Oxford Street there are homeless people begging every few yards. It is awful.

In Euston station the other night I had my worst experience. I was approached by a young girl, a blanket over her head, her face pale and drawn. Desperation in her eyes. She was only about the same age as my youngest son. She was like a zombie. The living dead. I stepped back. In fear maybe. Perhaps distaste. I don’t know. I had no money on me to give her and within a few moments, she moved on.

I am ashamed of myself. I keep thinking it over and over. What I might have done to help her. Maybe I should have taken her home for the night. I’ve tried to make excuses to myself that I have more than enough problems to deal with at the moment with break up of my marriage, financial worries and a crap job but it doesn’t ease the guilt. I failed another human being. And a child too.

I have decided I am going to write an article on homelessness. I have asked a friend who is a photographer to take some pictures for me and I will see if I can sell it to the papers to raise awareness. It is shameful that in a country like the U.K. people should be so poor they have to live on the streets and in the alleyways.

I have one month left in London. In that time I intended to interview some homeless people and let them speak for themselves. Use my writing ability to do some good. Hopefully.

Since the breakup of my marriage, my constant worry has been not knowing if I can keep my children’s home. And I know, at the very best, I am only a few months away from losing it. There are more living expenses to pay than just a mortgage. Something my husband hasn't seem to have had a grip on for many years.

And so I know what the threat of losing your home feels like but, ultimately I could down-size my house and the boys and I could squeeze into a much smaller property. It would be tough and yet another kick in the teeth but at least I'd still have a home. Others have lost their homes. They have no place to go for warmth and shelter except shop doorways and rubbish strewn gutters.

It breaks my heart.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

G is for Ghosting

Now if you are an oldie like me you may thinking “ghosting” is what happens at midnight in a spooky old house.

Apparently not. It is a term now used for when people you’ve dated just disappear on you. No email, no text, no letter or last minute call. They just disappear and you never, ever hear from them again.

I believe it’s actually a term derived from David Cameron’s departure from 10 Downing Street.

I fancy to do some political ghosting too. I’m planning to write to Tony Blair and say I’d like to donate 5 million to his foundation if he’ll drop his trousers on Horse Guard’s Parade during a live TV broadcast.

I reckon he’d actually do it for less but 5 million is a nice round figure.

Then I’ll ghost him. Obviously.

Maybe I’ll do it to Tom Cruise too. Tell him I’ve discovered an elixir for growth. And when he’s transferred me the cash I’ll slip off to the Caribbean in my yacht.

Ah sweet dreams.

Friday, April 6, 2018

F is for Forceps

I don’t think men know enough about forceps. But it’s about time they did. So I’m going to explain what the fear is like when a midwife holds up the forceps and says “I’m afraid I’m going to have to use the forceps.”

It’s like a irate women holding up a pair of nutcrackers in front of her partner and saying:

“I’ve always had a penchant for nuts. And your’s look ripe for cracking.”

Oh there’s another F I liked to talk about and that’s “Freedom”.

For the last 6 weeks or so I have been working in the most hellish job I have ever had with a level of toxicity and venom I have never encountered before in all my working life. Today, I made the decision to leave. It was a shame as it was a job I really needed and I will have to work even harder to get to where I want to be now when I thought I was finally on track. But I am old and wise enough to know that some battles aren’t worth fighting. And tonight when I left knowing my time there is limited I felt freedom in my veins.

And it felt good. I will sleep easy tonight.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

E is for Erogenous Zone

Okay, I’m not going to beat about the bush. Contrary to what some young people seem to think, people over fifty still have sex and still have erogeneous zones.

We are not dead. Some of us might look like it (I’m thinking of Rupert Murdoch) but we are alive and we occasionally still think about sex.

And if we’re lucky we actually get to have it with someone who is alive and not a blow-up doll or, if you’re a woman, a giant vibrator which came free with a month’s supply of incontinence pads from Amazon.

So what I’m saying is us oldies still have erogenous zones. However, instead of being based mainly in our pants they are based in our brains.

That’s why I know that fantasying about having sex with Georg Clooney would actually be better than having it. I know this as he has twins. Which means he probably hasn’t slept for a year and he has less chance of getting it up than I do have of losing half my body weight before Christmas.

This is the good thing about getting old - you don’t actually have to have sex to have it. If you get what I mean.  For example, the other night I had sex with Tom Cruise. It was a far-out experience. Especially when the little green man arrived and we went all out for a threesome.  And you know what the best bit was folks?

I didn’t have to change the sheets.


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April A to Z : D is for Dipstick

So “dipstick” has two meanings. One is a rod for measuring the depth of liquids.

The other is a word to describe Donald Trump.

Oh crap. The SWAT team are on my doorstep again...

I was just joking I swear to God it was just a joke......I’m a comedy writer... I don’t actually mean what I say...... I love Donald. I even have a matching hair piece I wear on my genitals.....

No, I am not dropping my knickers. My genitals are my own private business!

I demand a phone call. It’s my right as a British citizen....

Hello, Queenie. It’s me. You best pal. Get the Paras over here fast. I’m about to have my hair piece confiscated which means I won’t be able to lend it to William for the coronation.

Ten minutes?


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April A to Z: C is for Codswallop

Now I'm guessing not a lot people outside of the UK know the word "Codswallop".

Basically, it is an old English maritime word used by fishermen. It refers to the old English tradition of using a wet cod (an English fish common in the Atlantic) to wallop someone around the face.

In most recorded cases of codswalloping, English fisherman have used the technique on French sailors attempting to poach our fish. But during the WWII codswalloping was used during the evacuation of Dunkirk when us Brits were out of ammunition and needed to give the Nazis a bloody good old taste of British fighting resilience.

And believe me there is nothing like an angry English fisherman with a wet cod in his hand. The Germans may have invented the Blitzkrieg but codswalloping takes fighting to a very personal level. When it comes to hand-to-hand combat English fishermen are the best in the world. In fact, it is well known that Captain Birdseye, whose grandfather was a pioneer of codswalloping, has coached the SBS (Special Boat Squadron) and written a manual for both the SBS and the SAS entitled "Codswalloping and Haddock-Baiting in the Armed Forces."

I'll have to explain haddock-baiting at some other time. However, if you’ve heard of waterboarding let me tell you that haddock-baiting takes torture to a whole new level as it is intensely difficult to breathe with a haddock stuffed down your throat whilst being codswalloped around the face and, in cases of extreme torture, the groin area.

And I'm not even going to talk about what Captain Birdseye recommends you do with a pike. But it would definitely make your eyes water.

So there you have "Codswallop": An old English term, which if there was any justice in this world, would go viral.

Monday, April 2, 2018

April A to Z: B is for Balderdash

In a previous A to Z I talked about “bullshit”, and today I have decided to talk about something in a similar vein which may not be in common usage abroad and is not heard much these days in the UK either.


Now “balderdash” ”is not, as you might expect, a word to describe a bald-headed marathon runner.

(Although the idea has interesting possibilities for one of my future stories.)

It is a word to describe incontinence.

Oh wait a minute, that's “bladderdash”.

Blast. I should have started writing about “bladderdash” as that is something I know a lot about. In fact, invariably, most woman over fifty who have had a baby know about "bladderdash."

As it happens, I know more about "bladderdash" than most as I've had three children. My bladder now has more holes in it  than my kitchen sieve. If I cough, alarms sound on the Thames floodgates. I’ve also invested in shares in Tena Ladies as I am fairly confident by the time I’ve hit sixty I will be bulk ordering incontinence pads from Amazon on a monthly basis. At the moment, I can manage bi-monthly orders which is not so bad. However, the downside is it's rather depressing to keep receiving
marketing emails from Amazon suggesting I purchase portaloos and or buy a subscription to Incontinence Weekly.

What is it with Amazon? They know my every move. They are like Orwell’s Big Brother. I swear they have a little man inside my PC who is just constantly monitoring my every click. I think they are working in partnership with the CIA and MI5. In fact, I’m going to test this theory by putting AK47 in the Amazon search bar and seeing how long it takes until a SWAT team turns up on my doorstep.

Okay, let’s test my theory.

A K 4....7

Okay, what was I meant to talking about? Oh yes “balderdash”... well “balderdash” is an unusual world which means......

Oh fuck...... no....... oh Jesus your hands off me! I swear to God I am not a member of ISIS.......

And I haven’t got any firearms...or Semtex... you can check my bedside table! I just have a copy of Incontinence Weekly.

Yeah. Okay, I promise I’ll never put AK47 in the Amazon toolbar again. I promise.

Thank you, thank you, thank you... say hello to Mr Trump for me. I love him.

No, seriously I do! I love him and the wig. It's awesome. Okay... thank you. Thank you. Bye.

Sorry about that interruption, folks. I had an unexpected visit from some sly bastards very nice men.

So "balderdash" it means "Nonsense" which is pretty much what I write on this blog. Except when I'm fed up in which case I can write anything from a political diatribe to a haiku.

Stay tuned if you want to expect the unexpected on the A to Z.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April A to Z : Apprehension of Unwelcome Readers.

At the very last minute, I have decided to sign up for the Blogging A to Z Challenge. I am going to try and play along even if it is only for a few words a day.

So, as usual, I am just going to pick whatever word pops into my head or if anyone has any suggestions they will always be gratefully accepted. I suspect most of my words will be emotive words bearing in mind I am in a very emotional stage of life but, hopefully, I will also come up with a few of my zany posts too. (Hurrah!)

So let's start off with A is for Apprehension.  And get the dross out the way first. The primary noun definition of apprehension is:

"The anticipation of adversity or misfortune; suspicion or fear of future trouble or evil."

Now I have mentioned before that I have not written on my blog much for the past few years for a number of reasons. 

One of them is I have an unwanted reader.

This is someone who I know exists. I have met them on a number of occasions. Over the years, I have had many friends and sometimes relatives who have visited this blog and all have them have made their visits known to me at some point and I have enjoyed their comments, emails and feedback. And it has been a rewarding and often fun experience.

This person, however, has never mentioned to me, at any time, in person or by email or comment, that they read my blog and in recent years it has begun to fill me with apprehension to the extent that it has inhibited my desire to write.

I am not sure that this person comes here to be entertained. But for some other purpose.

Incidentally, I should mention it is not my soon to be ex-husband. Despite our recent differences, he is not that kind of man.

I am an open and honest person and I always say what I feel. I do not like living under what has felt like a silent threat. So today I end my apprehension and I will write whatever I feel and whatever I god-damn like. And should this person visit my blog in the upcoming days they must now feel the apprehension I have done. 

You may ask how I know this person exists.

The answer is I have been blogging for over ten years. During that time I have learnt a lot about the Internet and technology. I really am quite Internet savvy. I have pretty much experienced everything on the Net from anonymous admirers to stolen posts appearing on soft porn sites.

So there are 30 days in April. I am in an emotive and explosive mood. 

I could write anything

The tables are now turned. I have my custard pies stacked and ready to throw. Should I feel like it.

And if you, my dear and welcome readers, feel you have any insight, opinions or similar stories of this nature please do leave a comment.

And I would also love to hear from some of my genuine anonymous readers. Your continued support of my blog is always welcome.

Ps- if any of you anonymous readers are rich, single men I am still available. I come with an excellent sense of humour and a large backside. These are valuable assets especially to the visually impaired.

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...