Monthly Archives: August 2012

Ask a stupid question…

… and you are bound to get an equal stupid (and sarcastic reply).

I have heard 2 very daft questions indeed this week, and wondered why they were being asked and if the person asking them really did think up the question all by themselves!

Question No. 1

Now, my mum has trouble getting up the stairs and this has been getting increasingly more difficult, so recently she had an “inter-floor perambulator” (or “personal elevation device”) installed – stair-lift in other words!

Now the company in question (and it wasn’t Stannah) phoned up this week – actually it was the 3rd phone call in as many weeks from customer service.

After 5 minutes of general chit-chat about nothing in particular, we get to the stupid question:

“So, could you tell me why you’ve had a stair lift installed?”

My mother was incensed at her stupidity told her what an idiotic question that was.

Generally, and correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought stair lifts were installed when people had difficulty climbing stairs – so basically this would be a stock answer from absolutely every single customer!

Who on earth wrote her script?

Question No. 2

Grand Prix weekend (not that we’re excited in this house *I believe in McLaren*) and I turned on FP2 this afternoon – funnily enough it was raining in Belgium, so no cars were out on track.

Ms Natalie Pinkham began interviewing Nico Hulkenberg.

She made some girlie gaffe about the brightness of his new white jacket, to which he drolly replied that it wasn’t new and was dirty.

Then came the classic…

NP. “So, Nico, you don’t live far from the circuit and drove here this morning. What do you drive?”

NH. “A car!”

Absolute classic, I nearly cried laughing ūüėČ

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Winter Hands (or Project Save My Hands from Cracking Up!)

As September approaches with alarming speed (where has this year gone?) my thoughts turn to my hands.

For reasons unbeknown to me, no matter how much cream I plaster onto them from the middle of September through to pretty much the end of June my hands get as rough as a fisherman (and no the Norwegian hand cream doesn’t work, tried it), and they crack to the point of bleeding. And yes, I wear gloves, dry my hands properly, etc.

I’ve tried everything;

  • Vaseline
  • Hand cream
  • Olive oil and brown sugar
  • Manuka Honey
  • etc

The only one that came pretty close was the olive oil and brown sugar exfoliant mixture, followed by smothering my hands in olive oil. Maybe if I start it now, my hands won’t crack up!

The thing that struck me as I perused the hand cream aisle in the pharmacists was the notice on a lot of products “contains 10% urea”.

Hmm!

Now, isn’t urea a component of urine?

If so, maybe I should just try peeing on my hands?

Isn’t that a tasteful thought?

Seriously though, if anyone has any recommendations I’d be ever so grateful.

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Wednesday Wisdom

I can’t change the past.

I can’t predict the future.

All I can live for is the present.

We have to trust our feelings.

I believe how I feel.

I have faith in my belief.

I have been given the gift of hope.

I trust that gift.

I am learning patience.

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1911 Census Snippet

Now I don’t usually do jokes, funnies, etc, but my dad saw this in his family history magazine today and it made us all giggle:

From the 1911 Census
Found in the household of John Charles Belton in Chester:

Peter Tabby, servant, 6 months, occupation: mouser; nationality: Persian

This line has been all crossed out in red and written in “THIS IS A CAT”

Looks like people 100 years ago had the same sense of humour as us when it came to filling out the Census form, although I bet he wasn’t fined ¬£1000 ūüėČ

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West Side Story…

… is as relevant today as it was when it first burst onto Broadway.

This Leonard Bernstein musical based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet hits the right social and cultural issues, and makes you think. That’s why I believe every teenager should watch it.

Primarily, the rivalry is transferred from between 2 families to between 2 gangs. And as we all know gang warfare is rife on streets in cities today, just as much, if not more than it was in the 1950s. Barely a week goes by without some teenager being killed, by whatever means, by someone from a rival gang.

Over the years nothing has been learned, it seems.

As a mum to a small boy, I’m already fretting over his teenage years, which at the moment seem a lifetime away, but in reality will be upon me sooner than I can blink an eye.

What is ever gained by fighting, physically?

Why do people physically fight over the most trivial of things?

Where does it end?

SC has just started school and not a week has gone by where some charming child hasn’t physically attacked him. I don’t believe violence solves anything. So I tell him to walk away. No matter what, just walk away.

Mr Wrong No. 1 had the other approach with regard to tackling this issue with his son – he told him to fight back!

Now, my stance is if they fight back, where will it end?

I hit you, you hit me.

I hit you harder, you hit me harder.

I hit you with a stick, you hit me with a bigger stick.

I get a knife.

You get a gun.

Violence grows and no one wins!

That in essence is the crux of the whole musical. Maria (aka Juliet) says at the end of the show that she can kill now because she now hates.

Is that what all this gang warfare is about?

How can you hate someone just because they ‘hang with a different crowd’ or wear a different type trainer? You can’t really hate someone you don’t personally know, can you?

West Side Story shows that, at the end of the day,¬†no one wins with violence or hatred, and that we need to learn tolerance and effectively ‘love thy neighbour’.

I don’t hate. For sure there have been people¬†I have met in my life that I don’t like, but hate? No.

We’re all born different, be it hair colour, eye colour, taste in clothes, hobbies, etc. We all have good points and bad points. These should be embraced, not used as a reason for attack.

Can society change?

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A Tale for Moped Users Everywhere

Or more specifically teenage moped and bike users.

I had one of these moped users behind me the other day, and he was so close that if I had to apply my brakes suddenly he would have smashed straight into the back of me, or more horrifying been thrown over my car only to land in a crumpled heap in front of me.

But my real gripe about these teenage moped riders is more the fact that they think it is OK to just wear a crash helmet. I have also seen some motor bike riders donned this way too.

It may be cool on the continent to ride around on your moped with the sun beating down on your bare arms and legs, but what is not cool is not being properly protected.

Mr Wrong No. 1 rode bikes and before he would even let me ride pillion I had to purchase a set of proper bike gear.

And for why???

Not just to save me getting too horribly crumpled, should an accident happen, but as he explained “Imagine you are not wearing proper clothing and have a smash at 30mph and end up skidding down the road, what is the likely outcome?”

Any guesses from the moped users who like to wear jeans??

Nope?

OK, here goes.

You skid down the road for however long it takes for you to slow down – say 300 yards. But here’s the warning, not only are you skidding down the road, but so is your clothing.

And what happens to clothing if it gets abrased? It starts to get bare!

And if you are still skidding when the material of your jeans have all been worn away, what will be next to start wearing away as you skid?

That’s right? Your skin – and we’re still skidding. So all your lovely skin is wearing down until we reach?¬† Yes, bone.

Are you following me?

That tale of how I could end up at the end of a skid with not just a gash in my leg but a flippin’ great¬†hole with exposed bone and flesh was enough to send me running to the nearest bike shop!

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How cool are the Octonauts?

Sound the Octo-Alert.

If you haven’t seen this children’s programme on CBeebies…you must!

It’s way beyond cool, it’s just sheer brilliance.

Think of it as kid’s Star Trek set under the sea instead of in space.

Created by Meomi (Vicky Wong and Michael Murphy) who also created the mascots of the Vancouver Olympics, the Octonauts are a group of 8 (funnily enough) undersea explorers in search of adventure and fun.

They live in an “octopod” which looks like a metal octopus and are led by an octopus called “Professor Inkling”, who generally moves about by chair (a bit like Davros from Doctor Who).

The team is¬†lead by a polar bear called Captain Barnacles – he wears a very fetching blue cat-suit and blue hat – he also plays the accordion. He is the firm favourite in this house to the extent that SC requested an accordion. SC plays his accordion very badly, but when he starts playing I expect morris dancers (no offence) to jump out and take a turn about the garden!¬†Captain Barnacles¬†always says “Sound the Octo-alert”.

Kwasi¬†the kitten is a pirate – the patch is over his right eye, but when he looks through the telescope he lifts up the eye patch! Mmm, don’t get that either, and he always says “in my pirate days”. He loves speed and drives the fastest boat, called Gups.

Peso the penguin is the medic – he always mends anything by applying a bandage, in super-quick time I hasten to add.

Doctor Shellington¬†– is a sea otter complete with Scottish¬†accent for all you trekkie fans out there. He is the ship’s scientist and knows everything about underwater sea life.

Dashi the dog monitors the computers and takes photos, she has an Australian accent bizarrely.

Tweak bunny – clearly from the mid-western USA states glows in the dark and is the ships engineer, famed for doing things “quicker ‘an you can say bunch of munchy, crunchy carrots” (affects bad Texan accent).

Finally there are things called vegimals Рcross between a vegetable and animal. The main one is called Tunip Рand they do the cooking.

So what’s so great about it?

Well aside from the spurious links to Star Trek, the title music gets you going, it’s fast and exciting and the programme is fairly educational on some higher plane.

We’ve learnt that the ocean is divided into 3 layers – sunlight, twilight and midnight zones, sea urchins and crabs have a symbiotic relationship, a whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean, anemones can divide themselves into 2 and much more.

To some adults it may seem far-fetched and maybe a tad daft – especially as they somehow have a diving helmet hidden around their necks which activate at the touch of a button – but the programme has been made into a 10 minute fast-paced adventure story packed full of excitement, tension and drama along with some fairly high-brow marine biological facts.

If you love Star Trek and that genre of television, you should really try watching an episode.

SC thinks he is Captain Barnacles.

Me – I love it!

Explore, Rescue, Protect!

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