Still Me

Owing to my last post I had become increasingly aware of a change coming over me, one that was quite shocking and completley against my entire nature…

I was becoming sensible.

It had started with the flower arranging evenings, then planning my Christmas shopping well in advance, then checking my car’s levels of screenwash at regular intervals, and I had even been taking Neil’s coat on outings in case he felt cold.

Oh dear.

The events of yesterday however came as a reassuring reminder that, whereas I have many additional responsibilities these days (although some of the unecessarily self imposed), I still have an overwhelming ability for the ridiculous which despite still taking me by surprise, nevertheless jollies life along.

The first instance occurred when returning a work call to a Norweigen lady ‘Ottie Dottie’, an excellent name that I am now considering for my first born (although a seminar given by Dushy Large has also made that a contender). On phoning Ottie I was put through to a generic voice messaging system, immediately sending me into a panic for I am not at ease with such technology and very much aware of how much I sound like a 5 year old child on a tape recording. I tried my best to mentally prepare what to say and in what order, but all too quickly the ‘beep’ was upon me and my mind blanked…

“This is a message for Socky Wocky”…

Realising my mistake I laughed nervously, but one of those sort of embarrassing laughs that sounds like a congested farm animal, so I cupped my hand over my mouth to try and stifle the truly hideous noise. Sat in genuine shock, I didn’t really know what to do to recover the situation, so I hung on the line hoping to be offered the opportunity to re-record my message, but following the second ‘beep’, no such olive branch presented itself.

 A shameful moment came over me as I replaced the phone’s reciever into it’s worn cradle, although at the same time I was a little relieved I had not got so far as to mention who I was and what institution I was representing. Several practices in the kitchen and a cup of tea later I was composed enough to phone Ottie back, but this time wrote my message down beforehand and read it off like a script.

I do hope the lady has luck with her dormer window.     

My second oddity of the day came as I dropped my feather and down duvet into the dry cleaners for its bi-annual dousing. The weather that morning had appeared inclement and so not wishing to be caught in a passing shower with my beloved bedding, I had wrapped it up carefully in several bin bags, neatly taping them at the joins, and had arranged the ties in such a way as to make a carrying loop.

On arrival at the dry cleaners I pushed open the door to find the shop assistant nowhere in sight, so made my way towards the counter to push the bell for attention. On doing so however, my loafer caught itself in the turn-up of my trouser leg and I tripped, hitting my knee on an incidental shelf carrying shoe cleaning kits, and I ended up slumped across the counter, my midriff balancing on its edge. Furthermore in the midst of this impressive stunt, I had let go of my duvet bundle, which due to its slippery casing had shot out of my hands, launched itself across the counter onto the floor, and had slid its way to the back of the room picking up speed as it hit the lino. Meanwhile, the shop assistant arrived, stepping over my duvet parcel (still in motion) and made his way towards me.

“Can I help”? he gestured, as I brushed myself down and sought to right the heavily laden shop display I had almost taken down with me.

“Yes please, I would like to have my duvet dry cleaned”.

“No problem madam, where is the item in question?”

“Actually (pointing), its over there…”

A confused look and a long explanation followed, but eventually I paid my £9.99, apologised for upsetting his suede buffing and leather cream unit and left.

Maybe next time I will try the ‘Persil Dry Clean’ shop down the road. It’s about 200 yards extra to walk, but I know it’s counter is nearer the entrance and with luck they won’t know about my amazing aptitude to embarrass myself.

Unless of course I have to ring them.

A random jumble of things

It has been so busy lately that this afternoon has arrived and I have found myself quite lacking in steam! In an attempt to recover the situation therefore I have decided to take respite in ALBD, hoping that punching out a few words here may help restore some sort of productive momentum (although it is likely I will finish writing this and just go and get the Chunky Kit Kat I have been fanatsising about since half past nine)…

Having sat here with the intention to ‘write myself better’ however, it appears I am incapable of stringing together thoughts and words in any sort of coherent manner. In addition, anything notable that has happened doesn’t appear to bare any sort of relationship to each other, making writing about them even more tricky.

So here is a collection of random musings gathered during the past week, written in a very wonky order, and shared with you for the soul reason that writing nonsense does for my brain what a hot bath does for the scab on my knee – left to soak long enough the flakey bits fall off and you’ll get back to the good stuff.

Or here’s hoping…

 – I am becoming officially older than my time. Last night I attended a Mothers Union Christmas Flower Arranging evening with my ‘old’ and her friends.

Hard Core.

Not only did I observe the demonstrations with great interest (particularly how you pin Gladeoli onto oasis in a basket composition), but having had my ticket drawn in the raffle – did I opt for the bottle of Port on the prize table? No. I took home a ‘Festive Wreath’.

– I have spent a lot of time sitting in traffic recently as the smart people who work at the DfT (Department for Transport or as in our Planning Office ‘Dangerous – fear Them’) have decided it necessary to cone off sections of the M4, causing huge traffic jams and tailbacks lasting for miles in order that they can install electronic signs warning motorists of congestion.

 Handy.

This (surprisingly) however has not been my major gripe of the roads lately, but rather the behaviour people display in their cars – something that has proved to be a greater bugbear now that I am sat stationary next to these people for ever increasing periods of time. Now there has been all sorts of anti-social behaviour that I have witnessed, from booming stereos in rude boy cars (meaning I can not properly follow the debate on radio four as to the state of European turnip farming), to couples fornicating at traffic lights in a most indiscreet manner when there is a ‘Holiday Inn’ only at the next junction.

My least favourite display of innappropriate personal conduct however is people picking their nose in their cars. Now I can’t think why this is necessary for the very reason that one should always carry  a tissue or a hankerchief in order to prevent any nasal debris compromising a social situation.

Furthermore, you may be in an enclosed and private space, but in what other situation in life are you surrounded by a 360 wall of glass and mirrors? Surely you are at your most conspicuous when in a car – so why extract your crusties there? It is thoroughly beyond my comprehension! I also wish to place an ASBO on those drivers on the A329M slip road who think it appropriate to either store their boogers somewhere within their vehicle, or who use the facility of an electric window to sneakily flick the offending snot out of the car – and once – onto mine. I ended up having to do 4 miles over the speed limit on the Coppid Beech Roundabout just so it would blow off of my passenger side wing mirror.

I was not happy.

– I bought a new winter coat over the weekend which is an ‘Animal’ Pink and Brown affair,  is very cosy, and I am thoroughly delighted with it and its many handy pockets. I wore it for the first time on Monday, stepping out jauntily and feeling quite the business in my new apparel – until I walked into the office where my 60+ /trainspotter/ pac-a-mac boss commented on ‘how nice my new anorak’ was.

– I am going to my first swing/jive dance lesson tonight – further proof that I am a girl of the times and like to keep up with all of the latest crazes! I’m not sure what to expect of an evening of being spun round in giddy circles in time to music, but I reckon it will sure beat former plans of writing an essay then Spaghetti Bolognaise in front of ‘Watchdog’.

Plus I like something a little bit different.

There….that feels better.

Totally beeping awesome!

Today is Friday, a joyous event that I would have been celebrating later with a generous gin-and-not-so-much-tonic if I hadn’t donated a pint of my blood today, but at least the nice tea lady was there this afternoon with an offering of chocolate orange ‘Club’ biscuits, that were so nice I would have given up a whole other arm’s worth of my red stuff for an extra one of those bad boys…!

Anyway, besides the excitement of a ‘Club’ biscuit and the fact I don’t have to go to work tomorrow, Friday is special for another reason….

It’s food shopping night!

Now you might, as did Neil and I, think that the weekly food shop in an overcrowded and blindingly lit pre fabricated building surrounded by a sea of badly parked cars sprawling across two spaces to avoid wrecklessly abandoned trolleys is the last thing you’d wish to do with your Friday evening, and a month or so ago I’d be tempted to agree.

Now however a revolution has occurred in our food shopping experience, something so brilliant a herd of stampeding rhinoceroses couldn’t keep us from Sainsbury’s door, so ingenous it must have been invented by a woman, so exciting absolutely all of the cool kids are doing it…

We’ve signed ourselves up to a beepy thing.

A beepy thing for those of you who have not yet been introduced to this extrodinary device, is a hand held barcode scanner which is used to ‘beep’ the things as you put them in your trolley, and what I can only imagine is that a magic supermarket fairy then flies above you as you walk around the store adding everything up, because on exiting the shop, all you have to do is hand over your ‘Nectar Card’ (a customer reward card for those of you who reside outside of Britain) and it knows exactly what you bought and how much it all cost and then all you have to do is pay! None of this having to load things onto a checkout conveyor belt and then bag it all up in record time because the bored early-twenty-something serving you wants to get home to play ‘gangster snooker VII’ or similar on their X-Box, or having to stand and wait in an enormous queue for the mum of 4 to recover their child whose adventures have got them stuck in the basket rack, and you don’t even have to suffer the painful looks of disapproval from the sensible elderly couple in the queue behind you as the juvenile shop assistant waves the 4 bottles of vodka (for a party of course…) you have purchased at their manager.

It’s great!

What is more you actually get a go at doing the beeping! Now as truly rewarding and fulfilling a life it must be to work on a checkout – and is something I truly believe should be given a higher profile in career libraries – it has never been a job that I have ever felt impassioned to do, although if I am honest, it has always been a secret ambition of mine to have a go at making things ‘beep’ (much in the way I aspire to spend some quality time in a post office just so that I could stamp things). Now I have been given this opportunity (to beep – sadly not stamp) and I don’t even have to wear a startingly bright orange fleece and ankle swinging navy blue polycotton mix trousers to partake in the privilege!

Really – what more is there to life!

So as I look forward with great anticipation for the clock to turn its little hand to 5 and the big hand to 12 so I can peg it down to my local prefabricated building with no parking spaces and ‘Rod Stewart Pan Pipe Classics’ offending my ear, I will leave with you knowledge of the beepy thing and the joy it can bring.

Plus if you scan the barcode on the shelf with the beepy thing opposed to the actual item, it makes a wicked noise like a game of space raiders!

Bring it on!

Outside these four walls

Well, its been an eventful time of late as my ‘not so busy’ job has turned into a ‘not enough time in the day’ state of madness, university deadlines seem to forever loom, the washing/ironing/tidying/cleaning point blank refuses to do itself, and with only one member of household staff to help carry the load, it has been a while since I have been able to surface and experience life outside these four walls…

Given the chance however, I have revelled in it.

Below is a picture of my friend Helen and I dancing a merry jig in a glorious burst of Autumn sunshine, which helped no end to lift me out of the sullen mood my busyness of late has created.

sunshine.JPG

So enough of the ‘woe is me’, my battle plan now is just need to get my head down and work through this busy time so I can come out the other end and dance giddly circles in the sunshine once more.

Because its those sorts of things that are actually what life should be about…

And gives everything else much needed perspective.