Total Pageviews

Sunday, 8 May 2011


Mothers' Day is always a difficult time for me; because of social networking and the fact that I have a lot of American friends, I get to experience it twice.  Thankfully today a friend unwittingly provided a very pleasant distraction that allowed me to focus on less melancholic things.  She also encouraged/inspired me to return to this much-neglected blog, which I will endeavour to update more frequently.

This Mothers' Day, I am reminded of the time my teenage self inadvertently rented a movie with a friend that turned out to be nothing short of soft porn.  Of course, being teenagers, once we realised our error we kept watching.  My mother came in to the room to see how we were doing, noticed how quickly we switched off the video and decided to stay and watch with us, despite (or more probably because of) all our attempts to dissuade her.  I can’t tell you what the film was actually about as I spent the next 90 minutes staring at the carpet, though I do remember that there was an uncomfortable amount of panting and moaning. 

My mother didn’t say anything when the film ended, she simply stood up and left the room.  There was never any discussion of it, though from then on she did take an unusual interest in any movies I was going to watch with my younger brother and sister.

So, this Mothers’ Day, I raise a glass to my mother who I miss every day and who, despite suspecting me of sexual depravity, loved me anyway.

If you've had any awkward moments with your mother, I'd love to hear about them.  Please leave a comment below.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Better than a kick in the head?

"Mmm...It tastes better" – a slogan that doesn't really make me want to rush inside to try their ribs. Clearly their unusal honesty and lack of confidence in their food made it impossible for them to suggest that it was actually good.  Was "better" really the best they could do? And better than what?  Did the shop owner say to himself:

"well, I suppose if the choice is between eating our food and a piece of cardboard, I can say without a doubt, our food tastes better!"

Thankfully he was talked out of using "Better than cardboard!", which I imagine was his first choice.

Up the street is a closed down kebab shop called Kebabish. a kebab, but not quite? Maybe this was what Morley's food tasted better than.

Friday, 11 February 2011

A little early in the year for strawberries?

On the bus in to work this morning, I overheard the following telephone conversation (or at least half of a converstaion):

Smartly dressed man on bus:
"So, I've got my...friend on the other line. He needs to know if you're happy to pay the price for the, er...strawberries.

Right. Yeah it's two fifty per kilo. He's got half a kilo now and...

...yeah, 2 days?

Half a kilo! Half a kilo! You know how much that is! Just visualise it!

No, no, don't worry. I'll sort it out. I've got to drop off some, er...rubbish tonight so I'll pick up the strawberries after that."

Would I be completely off the mark in thinking that strawberries might be code for something a little less wholesome?

Friday, 21 January 2011

Favourite On-Screen Couples Part 3 - Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders

I grew up with strong abdominal muscles, partly thanks to these two so it is only fair that I thank Dawn & Jennifer here publicly.  This is them reading the re-translated transcript of a Hungarian interview with Madonna. (Thanks to RQ for bringing this to my attention)

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Favourite On-Screen Couples Part 2 - The Giraffes!

Voiced by the wonderful Sarah Millican and Jason Manford.  Oh how I laughed!! (Erm, I don't normally find domestic violence amusing)

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Seriously, America! Enough with the gunplay

Yesterday a 22-year-old man named Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a public meeting outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona.  The main target was reportedly US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head at point blank range but is miraculously alive and still fighting for her life. Six others including a 9-year-old child were killed and 12 others injured when Loughner opened fire on the  crowd with an automatic weapon.

How can Americans feel safe knowing that the neighbour they argued with, the employee(s) they fired, the guy down the street ("he was always so quiet, kept to himself") who's about to have a psychotic breakdown, might be armed?  The US has the 4th highest (behind Mexico, Estonia and Brazil) rate of death by fire-arm in the world!  This is not a list anyone should/would aspire to top.  The suggestion that this universal "right to bear arms" is in no way linked to the tens of thousands of people killed every year by firearms in America is idiotic.  This brings me to the wonder that is Sarah Palin.

In 2010 Palin posted the map below targeting Democrats who had voted for Healthcare reform (because healthcare for all is a terrible thing? Still don't get it!).  In case the image is a little unclear, yes, those are gun sights and that is Gabrielle Giffords' name, fourth from the top.
(Via the Huffington Post)
I am not suggesting Palin meant for someone to actually shoot the Democrats on her list (gunsights? Really?!), or that she is responsible for this gunman's actions; but this, coupled with the tweet below (is it referring people to the above map?) could send out confusing messages.

Both these posts have been deleted from Palin's accounts in the wake of the tragedy in Tucson and Palin has issued statements condemning the gunman's actions (recent reports suggest there might actually have been 2 gunmen), but it's all a little too late if you ask me.  Her use of her inexplicable fame and influence (What were you thinking John McCain??) is dangerous and irresponsible.  And she's not the only one.  Sharron Angle, who thankfully was unsuccessful in her bid for the U.S. Senate has also talked about "2nd amendment remedies" against Congress.

If any good can come of this most heinous of crimes (A 9-yr-old child!!) it is that proponents of the 2nd amendment will rethink their stance.  Guns are tools of death that should not be readily-available in your local Walmart!  Make another amendment! Get the guns out of your homes and off the streets!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Favourite On-screen couples Part I - Nick & Nora Charles

William Powell and Myrna Loy made 14 films together, but my favourites were "The Thin Man" films.  They never failed to make me laugh.  Go buy the box set or add to your lovefilm or netflix queues. You won't regret it!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

2011 already seems like hard work!

I spent a lovely Christmas by the sea with some friends and in a moment  of drunken optimism we decided to make lists of 20 things we would each endeavour to accomplish in 2011.  3 days into the new year as I lie in bed, surrounded by snotty tissues (not literally, they are in the bin where they belong), feeling terribly sorry for myself, I'm wondering what the hell I was thinking!

20 things is a lot!  And I haven't picked 20 easy things.  No doubt attempting to complete this list will (for the most part) be a lot of fun, but why couldn't I have left it at 10 things? Too easily swayed by my friends' enthusiasm? Too confident in my ability to do anything I set my mind to? Forgetful of the fact that I have no self-discipline?  Perhaps I realised that 2010 was a year of transition and I was finally in a position and (more importantly) had the desire to move my life forward, and making this list was the first step?  No, you're right, I'm not that insightful.  I'll blame it on the wine and sea air.

The list has been made, and as Lady Macbeth would say:

"Screw your courage to the sticking place, and you'll not fail!"

My List for 2011:
  1.  Learn Spanish (I haven't quite figured out how much Spanish I need to learn to fulfill this)
  2. Complete and pass 3 accounting exams
  3. Learn the guitar (See Spanish)
  4. Complete a writing project (I've started many, but as I said, I lack focus & discipline)
  5. Visit my friends in Bournemouth/Dorset at least 5 times this year (because they are good peops!)
  6. Learn to cook at least 12 new dishes well.
  7. Scale the heights at Go Ape
  8. Say what I think more often (I've been told I'm much too diplomatic)
  9. Write at least one blog post each month
  10. Eat at 3 Michelin-starred restaurants - one must be outside the UK.
  11. Initiate conversations with strangers (I need to get over my shyness)
  12. Do some form of exercise 3 times a week
  13. Spend a weekend in Edinburgh (I keep meaning to go and never get round to it)
  14. Holiday in a non-English-speaking country alone
  15. Pay off at least one of my credit cards (this might not be possible with all the lessons and eating and travelling, but it's good to aim high)
  16. Reduce my sugar intake (this might be the most difficult)
The eagle-eyed among you will notice that I have only listed 16 of the 20 items I said were on my list.  I'm keeping the remaining four to myself for now, but if you're lucky (or unlucky depending on your point of view), and if I actually manage to complete them, I might share more later.

Good luck with any lists you need to get through this year (feel free to share any goals in the comments below).  I wish you all a joyful and successful 2011!