Sunday, 6 July 2008

Ear we go then!

Our household is in a state of shock this morning as the larger of our two giraffes is missing an ear. Last night a dinner guest playfully threw it out of the window which worried me at the time but in the cold light of day, I have spotted it and will go and get it as soon as I'm dressed.

Admittedly we had been discussing our mutual hearing problems. I have a little hearing loss in one ear caused by damage to my middle ear and our guest has always had problems with one ear but to condemn the giraffe to being half deaf is a bit cruel.

I was back in Scyceland last weekend for the birthday party of a friend and before the party we met up with a few friends in a large pub called the Vines but referred to by the locals as the Big House situated next door to the Adelphi Hotel. The pub is very impressive looking inside with an amazing painted ceiling along the lines of the Sisteen Chapel and very fancy mirrorwork etc. Unfortunately as seems to be the case these days in any big pub in Blighty, there was Karaoke! It was in a different room at the back and shouldn't have been too intrusive except that they had seen fit to pipe the dreadful noise through the whole pub. In a state of stone cold sobriety - soon to be remedied I hasten to add - the experience was excruciating.

I was amused to notice a large group of deaf people seated around a table laden with drinks and empty glasses and signing animatedly to each other and laughing a lot - completely oblivious to the whole screaming cacophony. Bliss!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Fallen Angels

Blodwyn and I went to Rome for the weekend. We met up with another friend ariving from the UK who, for reasons I won't divulge, I will call the 'Airhostess'. The weather was lovely, not too hot for long indulgent lunches and fine wining and dining. We hadn't seen the Airhostess for ages so there was a lot of catching up to be done. In between we saw one or two of 'the sights'.

Enjoying a post prandial stroll near to the Colosseum, the three of us in row - Blodders (the blond) flanked by myself and the Airhostess as we picked over the cobblestones, we suddenly encountered a very attractive 'Gladiator' - now most of the Gladiators and Centurians in the vicinity looked like extras from 'Asterix the Gaul' but the sight of this one was definitely for sore eyes - all dark eyes and muscles, complete with skirt and leather breastplate.

"Wow!" he said "Charlie's Angels" which stopped us in our tracks. He put his arm round Blodders, making her blush, while trying to persuade us to have our photo taken with him.

She did cop a sneaky feel of his fake leather.

"Where are you from?" he asked in heavily accented English. "Where do you think?" Blodders replied. "Paradiiise" he drawled. Of course, we politely said "no grazie", whereupon he turned her round and gave her a pat on the bottom.

Now, we are probably much nearer the age of the original 'Angels' than the new fangled kickboxing ones and I KNOW it was a line but a much appreciated confidence boost for us all, especially Blodwyn who has been going through some stuff lately.

PS. Don't you just love Italian waiters - especially if they are called Gianfranco apparently.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Red, White and Pink

It has been a long time since I have been moved to post something. The pace of life in the Capital of Europe leaves little time for thinking - let alone posting - but I was walking to work the other morning and was forced to stop and wait while a large Delhaize truck was stuck at a road junction blocking my way across the road.

I just sort of stood there for a while in the usual early morning daze but then I looked at the side of the truck across which was blazoned 3 huge bottles of wine. I must have been on the Flemish side of the truck as the captions read 'Wit', 'Rood' and 'Rosé'. This got me thinking about the merits of different colours of wine.

Maybe white wine makes you witty and red wine makes you rude and rosé is obviously rosé by any other name. My preference is for Red - mainly because you don't have to plan ahead and get it chilled but perhaps that is not the best way to go. When I was a child I used to think that rosé was red wine but diluted - probably with white wine. Maybe that means that it makes you witty but not too much and with just the right amount of rudeness. It certainly gives you a rosy glow.

I was reading the works internal magazine (bit bored at work at the moment) and came across the following article:

Some Rolling Stones with your wine?
Music can influence the taste of wine. Different types of music stimulate different parts of the brain, and prime us to taste wines in a corresponding way. Researchers discovered that when a powerful piece of music such as Carmina Burana is heard, a Cabernet Sauvignon is perceived as being 60% more powerful, rich and robust than when no music is heard. Other suggested music included "Honky Tonk Woman" by The Rolling Stones to accompany Cabernet Sauvignon.

Where do they test these things and why wasn't I invited? Blodders and I will try and conduct our own tests in Rome this weekend and let you know our findings - if we can find our way home that is.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Bandits at 11 o'clock!

In deference to his royal scrobleness I will now let all you wannabee heroes of the skies have the words to the Dambusters march. I used to sing it with my compatriots in the school choir up in the posh end of the pool so come on - you all know the tune - it goes like this:

Proudly, with high endeavour,
we, who are young forever,
won the freedom of the skies.
We shall never die!!!

We who have made our story
Part of our country's glory
Know our hearts will still live on
while Bri - tons - fly. dedede de de de (and back to the top)

You have to stand to attention while you sing it - perhaps saluting. If you have an old leather flying jacket or a pair of goggles you should of course wear it/them. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when we sang it!

Monday, 20 August 2007

Ziggy lives!!

Well, I am back in Brussels after a Space Oddity in the old home town. Before I went, Fast Eddy and I were in the bar attached to the puppet theatre in Brussels. There must have been a show on as the place was empty and we went right through to the back and sat down. The (very young) barman, after ascertaining that we were English asked us if we wanted some music on.

Us: Yes please
Barman: What would you like?
Us: What have you got?
Barman: Jaz, Rock 'n' roll....
Us: Rock 'n' roll please
Barman: David Bowie?
Us (in shocked amazement as both big fans): Yes please!
Barman: What period?
Us (pinching each other to check it wasn't a dream): 70s please
Barman: No problem

We spent a hunky dory hour or so with the Bowster, the puppets and some good strong Belgian beers, then Lady Stardust and Aladdin Sane rolled home to continue the experience in comfort.

We felt like the man (and woman) who sold the world!

Only in Brussels!!

Friday, 6 July 2007

The Bard strikes back!

Following in the same vein as Aunty Marianne, I had a conversation with Blodwyn's 6 year old son the other evening. He was telling me about his school play which was Goldilocks and the 3 bears in which he played Father Bear along with 3 other boys (there were 7 Goldilocks's at the last count) and the exchange went along the lines of:

Me: So it all went well then?

6yo: Yeah

Me: Everyone knew their lines then?

6yo: Yeah.........but the 4th years play was much better, it was about the war!

Me: The war? (Thinking WW2)

6yo: Yeah - one king killed another king and then he was killed and the first one that was killed was a ghost.

Me: Not WW2 then - was it the Civil War?

6yo: Nah! Don't think so............. I think it was by someone called William Shakespeare!

Me: (desperately trying to remember my Shakespeare) Do you know what it was called?

6yo: Can't remember - it was somebody's name.

Me: (Penny dropping) Was it Macbeth?

6yo: Oh yeah that's what it was called - Macbeth (a pause, and then with gusto and obvious admiration) ..............The songs were great!!!

Now is it me? I haven't seen Macbeth for a while but I don't remember any songs?!? This I would pay to see.

Monday, 2 July 2007

I've been tagged!

Aunty Marianne has tagged me. How exciting.

1. Each player must post these rules first.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Eight random facts/habits about me:

1. I can play the violin but have not picked one up since I was about 14 and it just wasn't cool.

2. I was my school chess champion and beat my little sister in the final!

3. I chew my fingers when I am nervous and when people die and stuff.

4. I AM NOT A SWOT!!!!!

5. I play a really mean air guitar.

6. I was thrown out of school.

7. I find it impossible to live alone.

8. I won a national essay competition at the age of nine - run by Cadbury's (I had to research and describe how chocolate is made) and the prize was a year's supply of Bournville chocolate.

There you go and now I tag Daffers, Minky, Doris Webley-Bullock, Joliet Jake, I know it is not 8 people but I am new at this and haven't built up a proper acquaintance list yet.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Variety is the spice of life

Round at Blodwen's the other night, I was watching a bit of ITV (she has a satelite dish!) while sampling some of her excellent wine and TV snackettes and we happened upon a programme that purported to showcase "Britain's Talent". Neither Blodwyn nor I will pass up a chance to view some 'talent' so we decided to give it a gander.

It turned out to be one of those reality shows like "Pop Idol" where Simon Cowell and a couple of other minor celebrities watch and criticise so-called variety acts from the cream of Britain's performers in order to choose a selection to take part in the Royal Variety Performance in front of the Queen.

Well...we chatted our way through a series of dreadful 'acts' including a 76 year old tap dancer, a group of horendous Lena Zavaroni look-alikes and a 10 year old comedian. Think "Phoenix Nights".....NEXT!!

However, our attention was grabbed and we sat transfixed as a 'young man' in a sequined costume came onto the stage. The compere told us that his was a very sad story as his parents were completely unaware of his talent (apparently he was afraid to tell them and had to practice in secret). His aged grandmother helped him with his application for the show and he explained, through a torrent of tears, how he was so happy to get through to this round of the show and now his secret was out and his parents were in the audience and were about to find out what he did in his spare time.

I turned to Blodders and we wordlessly asked each other what on earth he was going to do?

The music started and he twirl his baton, throwing it up into the air with great aplomb and some skill. Pllleeeeeeeease!!

Oh - not another 'closet baton-twirler'! we thought and turned back to our smoked salmon.

He didn't get through but his parents said that they were very proud of him! and both he and his grandmother cried.

Chewing the fat

I was pottering around trying to get ready for work the other morning when I heard the newsreader on Breakfast TV say something about 75% of DNA samples held on file by the police were from young fat men and they were kept whether they had been charged with an offence or not.

I did a double take and walked outraged into the living room to hear the rest of the story. Why on earth would fat men be more likely to commit crimes and therefore need their DNA kept for future comparison than men of other proportions?

It soon became clear that they were talking about young black men (must book a hearing test soon). Oh! I thought, and wandered back to the bedroom to continue my toilette. Whilst blow drying the old 'coiffeur' I got to analysing my response to the episode.

I switched off (brain that is, not TV) when I realised it was black people they were talking about, not fat people, because it didn't surprise me. I don't believe that black youths are more likely to commit crime than any other colour of youth but I am used to hearing about the vagaries of the police in their selection and treatment of suspects.

Whilst applying the final flourish of makeup and grabbing my keys, it struck me that I should have been outraged anyway - what is the difference between discriminating against the fat, and discriminating against the black?!?

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Escape from Big Blogger

Last night the Aunt and I were sitting outside the Hairy Canary - she on the phone to her mother and me trying not to worry about the fact that we had to have full fat tonic with our gins. I always request slimline and they never have it and obviously don't see any point in getting any in. Anyway, I was sitting there minding my own business when I saw a vision. The Spanish Goth was legging it across the zebra crossing!

Now - I happen to know that he is currently incarcerated in the Big Blogger house so the only way I can explain what I saw is to summise that he has perfected the art of astral projection. Something that I have been trying to do deliberately since, at the age of fourteen, I had a very nasty root canal filling and was given laughing gas of some kind in order to keep me in the chair. The gas had the effect, not only of taking away the pain, but allowing me to leave my body and come and stand behind the dentist to watch while he continued with the torture. At the time it seemed perfectly natural and I watched him drilling and filling and when I was sure that he had finished I slipped back into my body and giggled my way home.I have since tried to do this at will but even with the aid of certain mind altering substances have never been able to repeat the experience.

Or is there another explanation for this goth sighting?

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Why should the devil get all the best music

Reading Aunty Marianne's account of our celebratory sojourn into all things faux oirish - which appears to be entirely accurate by the way - got me musing as to why it is that I always find myself attracted to the bad guys. The Dark Lord was easily the more attractive of the two protagonists and analysing my reactions it had nothing to do with their relative merits in the looks department.

I came to realise that it was definitely the costume, in particular the shoulder pads which gave him that very masculine shape referred to by the Aunt as 'the Carrot'. The colours where brooding black and majestic purple, a winning and sexy combination if ever there was one.
I found myself smiling from ear to ear when he 'vanished' the Lord of the Dance in a puff of smoke and could not bring myself to applaud when he himself was 'vanished' or should it be 'vanquished' in the following act.

There is nothing I despise more than your architypal goody goody in a white shirt. I know he stands for all that is fair and true and all that and although I am, I think, a pretty fair and true person, that kind of thing is soooooo boriiiiiiing.

My first sexual fantasy, as I recall, was Captain Black, agent of the misterons. He was all brooding, silent, unshavenness and definitely had the look of the morning after the night before. A look I have gone for ever since as is evidenced by Fast Eddy (the morning after bit anyway).

Friday, 18 May 2007

Brussels Blogmeet

Well.........I met some Brussels bloggers last night. At least I think I did. Zoe was there with the Twat, Spanish Goth and the Mariposa, Tippler and Laura, Brom man from England, Honey and Eliab, and of course the Aunt who took me along and, standing in for Fast Eddy, acted as security blanket, chaperone and towards the end of the evening - minder. From what I can remember, a nasty shouty man got upset when I touched his techno thingy (and that's not a euphemism).

Suffice to say I haven't been feeling 100% today but am just about ready for my favourite 'feeling a bit under the weather' cure - chocolate, which I will take hot and in the form of a drink for rehydration purposes.

Did I just hear Tony Blair talking about the divisions between Sonny & Cher in Iraq?

Anyway, I had a fab time and already appear to be enjoying the fringe benefits of this blogging hobby(horse).

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

A pipefull of ready rubbed

Where can you buy chocolate smoking sets these days? As a small child I used to receive one every year from Father Christmas and enjoyed savouring the chocolate pipes, cigars, lighters and occasional vintage motor bikes contained therein. Admittedly the chocolate was cheap and greasy but this was only to be expected from something designed to get you interested in a career in casual smoking. Needless to say I graduated in true 'I told you so' style to a 40 a day habit. I have since kicked that particular habit but it has left me with a hankering for a good old fashioned chocolate smoking set.

My new flatmate has a fine collection of pipes (none of them chocolate I may add) and something very strange in the attic!