Monday, 29 June 2009

Too excited to write in coherent sentences

1) Sunny Monday. Woo.

2) Neil's Birthday (today). He is old(er). But I love him a lot.

3) Mr Jamie: suspected chicken pox. Probably. Less woo. And will curb leaving the house for the next few days. But we'll wait and see.

4) JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMS! Only two more sleeps. (And he has already had chicken pox, praise be.)

5) Exciting Saturday. More to follow.

Will now try and calm self. Unlikely to succeed.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

A poll

For you, my avid readers. (Hallooooooooooooooooo, anyone out there?!)

Michael Jackson's death genuinely shocked me. Not to the extent that I want to go and sob outside his house and set light to my own hair in tribute, but it's still a news story which shocked me at the moment I heard it (6.04am precisely, in fact, when Neil decided to come leaping up the stairs to wake me up and tell me. Maybe I was simply shocked about the earliness of the hour.). Which got me thinking about other news story which, in my lifetime, have shocked me. Generally due to their total unexpectedness (possibly not really a word), or my total lack of knowledge of events surrounding them. I've had a think, and the below are my top 5, in order of being most shocked about them at the time they occurred.

1) September 11th. (No, not 9/11. Reclaim your calendar people!) At the time this occurred, I kid you not, I didn't even know such a thing as terrorism existed (outside of the IRA). This was a proper, terrifying eye opener for me, and I remember vividly not being able to sleep after I heard about it, I was so shocked that this kind of thing could happen in the 21st century. I know, naive in the extreme.

2) The tsunami. I missed the initial news coverage for this, what with it being Boxing Day and all that, but hearing the sheer numbers of people who had died was quite incomprehensible. Even now, I try to imagine how many people were affected and cannot get my head around it all.

3) Princess Diana's death. No, I wasn't suddenly in floods of tears and hurling flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace. But I was shocked. She'd been in the news for all of my life - and now she was dead. Bizarre.

4) Dunblane. Still cannot get my head around why, and how, anyone could do this.

5) Michael Jackson. Someone described him as my generation's Elvis. I think I'd go along with that. You might not like his music, but you cannot deny his impact on the world of music during his lifetime.

So that's my top 5. What about you? What have I missed? (Neil still claims the single news story which has shocked him the most was the John Major/Edwina thingamybob revelations ...!!) Answers on a postcard (or on the comments bit below!) ...

Poorly sick

No, not me. For some reason, despite my less than virtuous lifestyle, I am freakishly healthy. (I have sneaking suspicions it's the sheer amount of wine I consume, killing off anything untoward in my system.) I tend to get probably one or two bugs a year (this year I can also add to my collection the hideous minging food poisoning, bleeeeeeeeuuugh). Other than that, full of beans. (I suspect my lovely husband may secretly look forward to the occasional times when I'm struck down and therefore slightly calmer than usual.)

Neil and Mr Jamie, however - well they're another story. With Mr Jamie, I suppose it's kind of excusable. He is, after all, only 21 months, and still fully forming his immune system. At least I bloody well hope that's what it is, given he currently averages at least one illness a month it's not going to be much fun for him going forwards if he continues at that rate.

Neil, on the other hand - he's weak, I tell you! Weak! Little did I know, when I married the man of my dreams, that I was marrying into the biggest drain on NHS resources the world has ever known! If I look at Neil in isolation: gallstones (and subsequent gall bladder removal), dodgy knees, plus a susceptibility to literally every stomach bug and cold doing the rounds. In fairness, his line of work doesn't help; nor does living with a Mr Jamie. (Although I seem to manage it. But then I am STRONG. Grrr.)

But then, you extend a view to the remainder of the paternal tribe, resulting in: gallstones (yes, more gallstones), brain haemmorhage, various cancers, thyroid problems - and that's only the major ones I remember from the last few years. Let alone the miscellaneous coughs, sneezes, vomiting and more they also get struck down with.

And yet, with all that, Mr Jamie chooses to adopt Neil's immune system, rather than mine. Madness, Mr Jamie. MADNESS! Don't buy into the crazy paternal illnesses, follow the maternal path of health!

Anyway, the upshot of this post is that I have a Mr Jamie currently poorly sick with another minging baby cold. (Snot everywhere. Yuuurgh.) As I type, he's curled up on my lap, eating minature pain au chocolats. Smart boy. Succumb to the paternal immune system, but suscribe to the maternal school of medicine ...

Friday, 26 June 2009

For the love of god, buy my house!

Oh god, the trials and tribulations of trying to sell a house. Yes, I know. Putting our house on the market during the greatest economic slump of modern times may seem like an interesting strategy. But then this is me, since when did you expect a rational decision? And besides, there is method to my madness (oh yes). Because, if you put your house on the market when it's at the bottom, then while it sells for less, you can also buy for less. Ergo (great word), in the long term, saving you money. Providing you're upsizing. Which we are.

And, to be honest, I never expected us to sell particularly quickly. I recognised a) the scary 'R' word (that's recession, not Rod Hull. Although he is also very scary.) as something which would deter potential buyers from flocking to our residence, and b) the impact on a house sale the phrase 'West Leigh' has behind it. Which, let's be honest, is not a particularly positive one.

So I was all set for putting our house on the market, getting overexcited for a couple of days about the fact I could look on Rightmove and see our bedroom - and then forgetting all about it for a few months until we might have someone showing even a vague interest.

I had reckoned without Neil.

It's fair to say that my husband is something of a man of action. He has what may be almost a phobia of non-action when there is an issue requiring action. For example: the time he decided our kitchen needed painting. He went out, bought the paint, came back, and spent the next 6 hours doing just that. Some might argue his timing was slightly off ... what with him making this decision at 10pm, the night before we went off on holiday ... But there you go. That's Neil, and if nothing else I can't complain that things never get done.

It appears my mind must have slipped on this matter when it came to proposing the house sale. As far as I was concerned, once the house was on the market we simply sat back and did nothing.

As far as Neil was concerned, it was time to pack 90% of our possessions into boxes, clear the house and stack everything into the shed. Which is absolutely fine, if you suspect you might have a buyer on the horizon. When you've been on the market for nearly three months, averaging one viewer per month, it probably verges on utter insanity. Neil may then, possibly, have mentioned on a couple of occasions how frustrating it is that he can't get to any of his stuff, because it's all in the shed.

I have declined to comment.

So here we are. House on market. Possessions in shed. Estate agent (picked by me) who has just been sacked. (No, I'm not joking.) New estate agent (branch manager) now in place. And still. No. Viewings.

Probably best not to mention it in Neil's earshot. Not unless you're interested in buying. One 5 bedroom house, two careful owners, kitchen of wonder and lovely loft conversion. Yes, it might be in West Leigh - but you can't have it all. Please. Buy my house and let me relinquish my posessions from the shed. Amen.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The little people

Have been a bit slack with the blogging in the last few days. I've been doing Stuff, that's why. Important Stuff, which justifies the misplaced capital S. So if I go missing for a bit, that's why.

Anyway, back for the moment with an update. Not much of an update, admittedly - it's been an uneventful few days. Went to a place of wonder on Friday. A model village! With little houses, and little people, and other little things! (The little people are not real. Just to set your mind at rest.) Mr Jamie thought I had created a bonafide miracle for him. Houses, the same height as him, which he could peer down and look into. A magical minature train which kept reappearing round the sides of the houses. Tiny animals, and tiny people, and tiny Stuff! (More Stuff. See what I mean. It keeps happening.) A joyous day all round, and if you find yourself in Beaconsfield any time soon then it is well worth the visit.

In other news: came off the antibiotics (hooray!), tooth nearly better (hooray!), celebrated rather too vigorously (hence Monday's post), visited at least three separate supermarkets (goes without saying) and somehow made it through to payday without having to sell myself, Mr Jamie, or my spleen. (What is a spleen? Do I have one? - assuming I haven't sold it already? Do I need it?) Now I just have to sell my house ... (More on this next time. I promise.)

Monday, 22 June 2009

Urgh

Monday morning. Hangover. Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnngggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhh.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Restored faith in humanity

Something of a heartwarming end to the day yesterday. Which I'll share with you, but to do so I need to go back slightly and set the scene.

We live next door to a set of maniacs. (No, not Simon and Ruth. They are lovely. I'm talking about the other side.) They moved in about a year ago, and are the most mysterious group of beings I've ever come into contact with. Or, rather, not come into contact with ... because much like The 'burbs, no one goes in, no one comes out. By all accounts, there are quite a number of people living in that house - and yet I think I've only seen them on maybe one or two occasions. And never all together, of course. Just brief glimpses (and, if you're Neil, perhaps a glimpse too far, when he was treated to the sight of one of them waving her naked breasts through the front window in his direction. Lucky boy.). (Isn't the word glimpse an excellent one? I must use it more often.) They're like a rare and endangered species - who are rather too fond of their fags, booze and obscenities.

In fairness to them, other than their excessive elusiveness, they cause us few problems (I write this desperately hoping I'm not tempting fate). There was the one night of insanity, with the party which went on into the wee small hours and the two police vans (yes, that's right, vans. Not cars, oh no, not when you live in West Leigh. Vans.), but generally speaking they really do keep themselves to themselves (other than when they're flashing my husband). Mysterious in the extreme: I have no idea what they do or when they ever actually leave the house to get food, fags, Diamond White etc etc. Maybe they're international (albeit overweight) spies. Maybe they're spearheading the revelations of the Government expenses scandal. Or maybe I should simply mind my own business.

So, we'd reached something of a status quo with them, until about a month ago when, in the alleyway between our houses, appeared a number of bin bags. (That's bin bags containing rubbish, not just a roll of empty bin bags. That would be far less annoying, and actually really quite useful.) Which is odd, given that we have large and easily recognisable wheely bins. But anyway. For whatever reason, they'd chosen to place their bin bags there, on our COMMON GROUND. Oh yes. Playing with fire, my friends, playing with fire.

Now, I'm not unreasonable (probably), and I could have tolerated those bin bags being there for quite some time. Mostly because I rarely use the alleyway, being, as it is, full of slugs and rubbish. Neil, however, is the proud Owner of the Bin Run (as nominated by me), and consequently gets at least a weekly trip up there as he brings the bins in and out of our back gate. It wasn't long before these bin bags began to annoy him intensely. More than that, the smell of the bin bags, the sight of flies, maggots and rodents, and the detritius of rotting food (enjoying your lunch there?) annoyed him intensely. Which he vocalised. Frequently. To me.

To cut a long story short (ish), after a month or so I decided I could cope with no more of Neil's histrionics (I'm being mean. He is lovely and was not histrionic even slightly. Simply pointed out that maybe, given the fact we're trying to sell our house - oh god, more on that at a later point - displaying rotting food and maggots outside it might not be the best way to make a sale. He was right.) and decided to do something. In fact, I came up with a Cunning Plan. Oh yes. And so I wrote a letter to our bin men (yes, I know, they're refuse collectors really, blah blah blah), asking them to please, please remove the minging bags (I may have phrased this slightly differently) as I was really concerned about the health risks, and thanked them very much.

I expected nothing. But on returning home yesterday ...

They'd only got rid of the bags! (I imagine this being said in a Michael Caine voice. Try it.) Not only that, they'd written a note on the back of my note and put it through the door: "No problem, we have cleared the waste. Thanks very much for the polite note. Derek (Driver)."

I love you Derek! How wonderous is that?! Lovely human beings prepared to help out a fellow human being in distress. Faith in humanity entirely restored.

So there you go. A heartwarming tale to start your day. Now I just have to wait for the neighbours to bang on my door, telling me I've thrown out £1 million hidden in rotten food cans in ten old bin bags ...

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Easily distracted

Such is my mind. Having spent the last three days sitting in pain and feeling sorry for myself (and vocalising this to any random passers by), I'm now in a near frenzy of excitement because James may (note the word may, he is notoriously unreliable) come and visit me at some point in the next couple of weeks. Tooth? What tooth? (I'm blatently exaggerating, there's not a hope in hell I'm going to forget that when its presence means the absence of wine. Stupid tooth.)

I promised a follow up post regarding the hell which is the hairdressers. I'm over it now but maaaaaaaaaaaan I fear the hairdressers with an all consuming fear. People tell me this is totally irrational. It's NOT. Where else would you pay obscene amounts of money for someone to stand over you with a sharp, pointy implement, staying just out of your field of vision and continually and unexpectedly jabbing at your head and removing random bits of hair? It is one of my worst nightmares, and hence having put it off for the previous 6 months. Unfortunately, my hair doesn't respond well to being left to its own devices, and had formed itself into some kind of pom pom ball cum Christmas tree structure (minus the tinsel). When you're only 5'1" (and three quarters) this looks a bit mad. (To be fair, I think it would look a bit mad on most people. Even Kate Moss would struggle.) So on the basis that the cats had started hiding from me, and Mr Jamie was pointing at my head in awe, I decided it would have to be tamed. Fortunately my hairdresser is lovely in that she neither berates me for not having been in 6 months, nor is phased by Mr Jamie sitting on my lap and shouting random half words at her (seriously, when is he going to learn to speak?!). And now it's all over, for at least the next - ooh - 5 months ...

Hooray Jaaaaaaaaaaams. La la la la la.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Contains bad language and scenes of mild peril

I lied about the last bit: there's unlikely to be any scenes of mild peril in this posting, at least not to my knowledge. But as for the bad language ...

Stupid fucking tooth. Stupid fucking gum. Stupid fucking abscess (which I have now learnt how to spell) on stupid fucking gum leading to stupid, stupid, stupid amounts of FUCKING PAIN.

Yay lovely dentist and yay lovely antibiotics which are apparently going to make me all better. But WHAT is with the 'do not drink alcohol at any point whilst taking these or most dreadful things will occur'? Seriously, talk about kicking a girl when she's down. Here, spend a couple of weeks suffering in excruciating pain ... oh, and while you're at it, make sure you don't drink any wine either.

Fuckers.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Sale of the century

God bless Dorothy Perkins and a) their willingness to provide clothes which might look vaguely normal on people possessing a bottom, breasts and cellulite, and b) their excellently timed one-day-20%-off-everything-sale - which just happened to occur today. Today is not only my day off, it is the Friday before I get paid. Hence sobbing every time I look at my bank account (it's those bloody supermarkets) and trying not to venture into places of retail. Clearly I failed on the latter and found myself inexplicably tugged towards Portsmouth (now that really is inexplicable, it's hardly a place you'd choose to visit) and to the wonders of DP. My intention: to purchase a black garment (details not specified, so long as it met the black criteria) for tomorrow (more on which later).

Now, I'm no stranger to the law of sod which gets invoked every time I embark on a similar shopping trip. You set out in search of one, specific, item. Something which (given my inability to plan more than 5 minutes ahead) is almost certainly required for the following day, or even later that day. Something which, in theory, it should be easy to identify - having seen hundreds of them on previous, non essential shopping trips. But NO. In steps the law of sod, thereby immediately ensuring that there is not a hope in HELL you'll leave with the critical item that day. You'll probably spend £200 on other, non essential items, but will ultimately be thwarted and will return home to throw shopping bags at the wall and gurn at anyone who attemps to interact with you. (This last part may just be me.)

So I was prepared. I'd allocated one whole day for the purposes of finding the aforementioned black garment. Mr Jamie was loaded up with provisions to keep him occupied (rice cakes, raisins, crack cocaine) and I had even gone so far as to be wearing flat shoes. Yes, that's right. Flat. Shoes. (Don't panic, I've only got the one pair and even they are actually boots with a low wedge heel. But flat as far as I'm concerned.) We'd parked the car, taken the lift to the mall (that's not me going American on you, that is apparently what it's now called in Portsmouth. Poor deluded mall designers.) and stepped into the first shop. Dorothy Perkins. Identified black garment. Taken black garment to the changing room. Tried it on. Leapt in the air with excitement. (Crushed black garment alternative waiting to be tried on.) Took it off ... went to the till ... got 20% off its already bargainous price ... and BOUGHT IT.

I can honestly say, in 27 and a bit years, that has never, never, never happened to me before. I fought the law of sod - and I won! Woo yeah me.

(As an aside - because there always is one with me - not only was it the perfect black garment, it was in a size 10. Oh yes. A size TEN. Don't worry, I'm not deluded enough to think I've suddenly slimmed to the size of a normal person overnight. Clearly it is either mislabelled, or suspiciously large. I picked it up thinking it was a size 12, it was only when I got to the changing rooms I realised it was on the wrong hanger. But because of the miracle of beating the law of sod - it still, magically, fit me. And my breasts aren't on display either. Truly, this is an ephiphanous day for us all.)

In other news - took Mr Jamie to the hairdresser, fought my fear of the whole hairdressing experience (you may get a further post on this if you're really unlucky) and got my hair cut to resemble that of a normal person, as opposed to that of Forrest Gump (in the latter, running stages of the film, as opposed to when he's in the army). Mr Jamie managed not to run riot, and I managed not to leap out of my seat screaming. A success all round.

For those of you wanting to view both the black garment and the new haircut in person, you should come and watch me attempt to be funny tomorrow night. As ever, I will be heavily reliant on my fellow (genuinely funny) performers, as opposed to exposing the audience to too much of the inside of Kathryn's head. Which I think is probably more funny peculiar than funny ha ha. But still. If only to observe the black garment which defeated the law of sod, it will be more than worth it. The fact I will be keeping my clothes on is merely a bonus.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Sleep is for the weak

At least it is if you're Mr Jamie. He's recently hit new levels of madness, deciding to spurn sleep altogether and instead career around the bedroom until he falls over. (Do I mean career? No, I don't think I do. No, yes I do. Is that enough double negatives there? I've checked it on dictionary.com. And I do mean career. So there.) (Bet you're all glad I shared that inner debate with you.)

Anyway, back to Mr Jamie. He's never been what you'd call a 'good' sleeper. (Which in itself is ridiculous. How can you be good at sleeping? It's like being good at breathing, or good at picking your nose. All you have to do is lie there and shut your eyes. How hard can it be?) The concept of a full 8 hours' sleep without waking is entirely alien to him - but then he gets that from me. I can't imagine sleeping for 8 hours without waking either ... isn't that the equivalent of being dead?

However, on the plus side, he did use to be pretty good at actually going to sleep. He had something of a finger fetish for a while (if he couldn't hold a finger - any finger, apart from his own - while falling asleep he'd go into meltdown) but we weaned him off that ... and so I'd give him a bath, put him in his pyjamas, read him a story, give him a cuddle, tell him I loved him (I'm verging on tweeness here, I know), lie him down with his bottle and sit down next to him indulging in the quite magnificent combo of Heat magazine + wine, whilst he drank his milk, sucked on his dummy, and fell asleep. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I miss those days. For the past couple of weeks, it's been more along the lines of the following:

"Time to lie down, have some lovely milk, love you, look at the nice bed, no, lie down, drink your milk, or throw it across the room, it's up to you, no Jamie, lie down, no, Daddy isn't in the big bed, stop singing please, it's time to go to sleep, back into bed, stop throwing stuff at me, no, we don't sleep in the bathroom, back into bed, now put your head down, no, not up, down, dancing is not lying down, I said LIE DOWN, no, Mummy didn't mean to shout, don't be sad, but it's still time to lie down, sleepy time blah blah blah blah blah."

This goes on. For FOUR. HOURS.

Eventually, after rampaging around the bedroom, leaping on Neil and I and singing E-I-E-I-O at very loud volume, he will finally collapse with tiredness. As will Neil and I. Is this how I'm going to have to spend my evenings for the next 16 years??? Answers/suggestions/help on a postcard ... please?!

And, in case you're wondering, does this means he sleeps in the next morning? Do I actually - god forbid - get a lie in?

No.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Events of today

Hmmm, I've been quite rubbish at blogging over the last few days. I'm sure there's a good reason for it but I've had a sudden memory lapse (caused in part by losing my diary) and am struggling to recall my own name ... I did also spend yesterday driving round the M25. That's not part of the M25, that's the WHOLE M25. From junction 10, right the way round to junction 10 again, via the Dartford tunnel and an hour's worth of queuing. As my father in law said: whatever turns you on.

Anyway. Stuff which has happened today:

1) I've broken my car. Again. The remote locking system has failed, and I'm too lazy and too lacking in money to do anything about it. As a result, I have to manually unlock the door each time and then bodily hurl myself into the front seat in order to insert the key into the ignition and stop the burglar alarm which will by that point be going EEEEEEEEEEEeeeeEEEEEEeeee very, very loudly. Mr Jamie thinks it's hilarious. I'm less convinced.

2) I fell on my face. At work. In a public office. I inexplicably managed to miss the (very large and prominent) door handle I was reaching for, toppled over and fell on my head. People laughed. Can't really blame them.

3) I managed to spend only 97 PENCE in the supermarket. Probably a lifetime personal best for me. God bless Nectar points. And the tolerant cashier who then allowed me to put through 97p on my debit card (I'm like the Queen. I don't carry cash. Although, unlike Her Majesty, my reasoning is because of my own incompetence.).

That's about it really. Happy Tuesday everyone.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Ramblings

Fridge is all cleaned. What a weight off my mind. I can sleep easy now - or I could, if it wasn't for the SODDING HAYFEVER. I may have some anger management issues.

I got the title of the last post wrong, didn't I. It should have been 'riding', not 'driving'. It's only a little thing, and most people probably wouldn't even have noticed it, but it's now going to bug me for all eternity. I could go back and change it, but I can't live with the fact I'll then just be lying. To me, to you, to all of us really.

My living room floor is currently covered with grass. (As in the lawn covering, not the drug. I'm not running some kind of cartel here. Do I mean cartel? Probably not. I'm not sure what I do mean though. I'm not really streetwise enough to know. Some kind of drugs-related set up, though.) Digression aside, it's because Mr Jamie decided it would be an excellent plan to sneak out into the newly mowed back garden and transfer part of it into the lounge. Fortunately, this occured before I hoovered, as opposed to afterwards. Which would have led to a lot more hysterical shouting from me.

I'm off to do some singing today. I will be aiming not to fall over, not to shout c*nt, and not to get my breasts out. It's a tall order.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Driving along in my automobile ...

... I am a liability. Even more so than usual. I mean, in theory, I can drive. I passed my driving test nearly 5 years ago now, and consequently am not only certified capable enough to drive, but capable enough to TEACH someone else. Excuse me while I go over to the corner of the room to laugh and rock hysterically.

Because, let's face the reality. I can't actually drive. Oh, sure, I can get into my car, turn on the ignition, and somehow get from point A to point B. Actually driving? Well, to be honest, I think it's more sheer fluke that I get from one end of the journey to the other unscathed.

For whatever reason, driving seems to bring out the most Kathryn side of me. From time to time, I'm actually able to give the impression of being a normally functioning person: going to work, looking after Jamie, cleaning out the fridge. (This is an imminent task of mine. I've put it off for long enough. It's preying on my mind somewhat.)

But then there's driving, and all of a sudden all normality falls away, and Kathryn reigns supreme. A car, my car, all mine to drive, look how big it is, listen to the noise, rrrrrrrrrrrarrrrgh, what does this button do, oooh, look at the pretty tree, I'm sure I know that person over there, I wonder what Neil's doing, ahhhhhhhhhh I love him, hmmm quite fancy some wine tonight, yaks are brilliant, la la la OH FUCK OTHER CARS.

Yep, that's pretty much what's going on inside of my head, every - ooh - 30 seconds or so during a typical journey. Consequently, my driving style can be somewhat ... let's say, erratic. (That's erratic, not erotic. Probably quite an important distinction to make.) I'll be giving the impression of competence, but at any given moment am probably only microseconds away from endangering the lives of everyone else on the road.

And as for parking ... Let's not even go there. I'll just say that, frankly, if I manage to stop the car with me, it, and surrounding pedestrians/vehicles/stationary objects in one piece, well, it's a resounding success.

So then. Anyone fancy a lift?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Reality TV Extravaganza

It must be that time of year. Despite the fact I like to think I'm fairly sound of mine (enough already with the hysterical laughter), each summer I find myself inexplicably drawn into an orgy of reality TV trash and gore. BGT is now over, alas, so I'm focusing on the two key reality TV events yet to occur. (For the benefit of my more cultured readers, this post is split into two parts. I will not be offended if you choose to ignore part 2 completely. You and most of the civilised world, I suspect.)

Part 1 - The Apprentice
I'm a bit late with this really as the final is on Sunday night. How I love The Apprentice (and, in particular, heart Nick and Margaret. Margaret Mountford, your hair is like a cloud ... la la la). It's the only TV event of the year (other than football and Teletubbies) that Neil and I actually sit down together and watch (without one of us making snide comments at the other's choice. (Is it just me, or are there a lot of brackets in this post? Discuss.) Because it is utter, utter comedy genius. How do they manage to find a group of people so incapable of making sensible decisions, who choose instead to spend their time setting up hotlines for laundrettes, selling Netto cheese to French people, and 'putting leashes on people who spunk money up the walls'? How? Why? Who cares. TV gold at its absolute finest, roll on Sunday and more James-based hilarity (yes, I know he didn't make it into the final, but the producers know his value when it comes to pulling in the viewers - he'll be back to help the two thin pretty women screw up). This time, maybe he'll actually poo himself with the excitement.

Part 2 - Big Brother
No, it's not cool. No, it's no longer original. Yes, it will involve the most disfunctional (yet still freakishly attractive) group of people the producers could find, all rocking in a room. Yes, they will all be there for their 5 minutes of fame (and obligatory Heat interview). Yes, they will all annoy me more than anyone I know.

Will I be watching? Am I hideously excited? Could I, in fact, not sleep last night due to BB related hysteria? Am I the only person over 21 in the entire of the UK who will be watching? Am I almost too sad to be true?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. I am a tragic excuse for an individual and I DO NOT CARE. Bring it on.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Of fashion sense

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that I have none. None whatsoever. Regrettably, I appear to have been born without the critical gene which allows you to identify green lame shell suit: bad, grey skinny fit jeans: good. (I've probably got that wrong as well, and now all the fashionistas reading this will be laughing into their copies of Vogue at the hilarity of me thinking grey skinny fit jeans are - well - in vogue. Grey is sooooo last year, daahling.)

I think my problem may be firstly that I focus on the 'prettiness' of the material of an item of clothing, rather than properly considering whether it is fit for purpose: ie, dressing me. Neon pink is great in highlighter form, less so for hiding 'wobbly areas'. (Oh god, the tweeness. Why do people insist on describing lardy parts of the body as 'wobbly'? It's fat, dammit. Great big hulking lumps of fat which have sculpted themselves to your bones, because you eat too much bloody food and fail to exercise. How is that hard to understand?)

But I digress. (As usual.) Pretty material does not a fashionable item of clothing make. (Animal print leggings, anyone? Yes, I know they're allegedly trendy. At least I think they are. Quite why is yet to be explained to me.) It might be alright if you're Kate Moss, but the rest of us would be well advised to steer clear.

My second issue comes down to the amount of peer pressure surrounding bloody clothes sizes. Which, as we all know, are sized entirely arbitrarily by gay men with missing ribs and no buttocks. I currently hover between a size 12 and 14 (I'm probably a size 13, if I could bear to admit it to myself ... see previous post), dependent on clothes shop, day of the week, and how much lard I have consumed in the previous 24 hours. And I SWEAR I get preferential treatment from dressing room attendants when I take in a 12. Size 12 reaction: "Thank god. She's normal. She won't break our dressing room mirrors with her lardy buttocks (little do they know). We will allow her a smile." Size 14 reaction: "Security alert, security alert, AVERAGE SIZED WOMAN heading for the changing rooms. Reinforcements required. Don't let her turn around in a hurry, whatever you do. Fixed grin required."

(Before I go any further, can I just say that the above is in NO WAY an attack at anyone who happens to be a size 12, 14, 6, 8, 10, 16, 18, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30 or hell, even a size zero. I could not care less what size anyone else is, I'm far too self obsessed to be bothered. I'm just reflecting on the shallowness of changing room attendants. Obviously this is a mass generalisation, and won't apply to everyone who works in a clothes shop. So no, I am not attacking you either. God, I will stop now before I offend anyone else.)

So I end up finding myself with a penchant for pretty fabrics and clothes half a size too small. Consequently, I think I probably resemble a cross between Bet Lynch (leopard print encased beach balls, anyone?) and Sue Pollard (crazy mismatching fabrics). Fun to look at, and highly entertaining - but from a distance. Certainly not the sort of person you're going to be crossing the road for to ask for fashion advice. (More likely, the sort of person you'll be crossing the road to avoid.)

But there you go. We can't all be good at everything (or even manage to look normal). I have to accept that my ability to detect any yaks within a 10 mile radius has a trade off: I will be forever destined to be irrationally drawn towards pink lurex boob tubes ...

Monday, 1 June 2009

OCD. I am odd.

As promised. I'm so damn reliable, me.

I am mental. Properly, properly odd. I think I'd worry about it more if it didn't entertain me so much. I seem to get more bizarre as I get older, although I'm sure that's partly to do with me indulging so many of my bad behaviours. Top of which is probably those of my tendencies which probably verge towards OCDisms. The trouble is, when you live in my head, these aren't odd - these are NORMAL. And everyone else is odd ... probably. Maybe. Well, probably not. But here you go, an insight into Living With Kathryn.

1) Doing Things in Threes. This is very, very important. (And regularly results in me having to get up half an hour earlier than I would otherwise need to.) It's hard to define exactly what this applies to. Pretty much everything really. It's okay to do something once, but if you do it twice then you must ALWAYS repeat it again so you end up doing it three times. For example: turning lights on, opening doors, mistyping words, opening the bin, stroking the cats ... the list is endless. But things MUST be in threes.

2) Avoiding The Number Thirteen. This is also very, very important. And also delays my progress through the day. Action cannot be taken on things which include the number thirteen. For example, if the clock display shows 8.13 then you cannot get out of bed. It is critical to wait until it changes to 8.14. But then ... you encounter another problem, because neither can action be taken on combinations of numbers ADDING UP to thirteen. So you would in fact have to wait until 8.15.The same system applies to other things featuring numbers, for example pages in books (you can't close the book at page 13, or page 58) or the TV volume display (you can't have the volume set at 49, or 67). Good for mental arithmetic. Bonkers when it comes to trying to live your life.

3) Turning Magazine Pages Three Times. I think this relates to number 1. Fortunately, it doesn't apply to books, only magazines. And hell, at least it means I get value for money from them, and don't miss any critical insights (such as who's sleeping with who, as chronicalled by Heat).

4) Reciting Mantras In My Head. There are a lot of these, too many to mention. All have to be recited at certain key moments in my head. Some - disturbingly - have to be said out loud. So if you see me gibbering, it might not be simply down to my randomness. It may also be due to the MANTRAS.

5) Saying Exactly What I First Thought. This is probably the most inconvenient. If I think of a sentence, it is imperative that I say that sentence out loud EXACTLY as it first came into my head, including ALL bits of information which filtered through. Some of these will make no sense, some of these are totally irrelevant. It matters not. The sentence must be said EXACTLY as it first came into my head. For those of you who know me well, this might explain a lot.

I'm going to stop there. That's not because there aren't more points. There are. But stopping there means we end on 5 points, which is GOOD. 6 would be bad, 7 okay, but after that we'd have to make it all the way to 10. Which I don't think any of us have the stamina for.

So there you go. An insight into being me. Terrifying, isn't it. And, written down like that, I suppose it does look a bit odd. But honestly - it makes life so bloody entertaining!

(Now, be honest, which of you aren't going to now inadvertently pick up some of my Kathrynisms? I'm spreading the madness! Hoorah.)

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They said it was impossible to be this self obsessed. They lied ...

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