Wednesday, March 28, 2012

An almost 3 week absence..................

After an 18 day absence of words (my longest absence yet) I thought it best to ease you in with a lovely positive angle and then I'll steer you into the depths of despair. That sound alright?

Good. So, the weekend just gone was our second annual London get together of 2 of the most wonderful people alive, Char and Nic. Now in case you're wondering, yes they are crazy northerners like me, both hailing from Standish (Near Wigan) and yes we've known each other for a very long time. In fact me and Char have known each other over 20 years - probably more like 24.......eeek.

And so, after a marathon cleaning operation of Flat 19, they arrived and I was typically still in my P.J's. But I had cleaned the living room, bathroom and kitchen as well as bake 2 desserts. So the fact that I wasn't dressed wasn't too much of a let down. Oh and I'd even managed to set the table. Dig me!

Within seconds we were drinking wine, giggling and talking as though only a few days had passed since we last had a chin wag. That's one of the many things I love about them. I made mini home made burgers for lunch with pitta bread, salad, rocket, tzatziki and humus. YUM! And then after a brief shower and change we were all ready for a show. (Bear in mind we'd been planning this weekend since about October. He he.)

It was roasting and for the first time in a long time, I set off in a skirt (and tights....let's not get over excited) and a vest top and was quite happy. In fact we complained all the way that it was too hot (typical British thing to do. I do love being typically British sometimes.) We got to the Shaftsbury Theatre for ROCK OF AGES! Which promised some excellent 80's cheesy rock as well as all the over acting, corny dialogue and B-list stars you would expect of a London musical.

And I have to say apart from the female lead having a pathetically anti-rock voice (slightly shit in other words), it was good fun. There was of course a love triangle and some tunes! But my favourite musical number had to be: Bon Jovi's Wanted (Dead or Alive). It was wicked! But I think Char and Nic will probably agree that the best thing was the free light up (pretend) lighters that they gave everyone, just for those rock ballad moments. He he.

Needless to say, another 2 bottles of wine were consumed and we were having a lovely time! Especially all 3 ladies in the disabled toilet at once. We had to do the Blair Witch stand in the corner facing the wall trick and Char managed to bang her elbow whist walking around with her eyes closed. There were some very confused faces when not one, not two but three giggling girls came out of the toilet. (snigger)

Then the plan was, back to Camden for a cheeky 2 4 1 cocktail at 55's. MMMMMM, Mojito! Then home for a meal of bomba di risso(an italian risotto sort of cake thing that it just sublime!) and brownies and cupcakes, whilst watching terrible TV and then later watching the Blair Witch Project (due to disabled toilet incident) and of course more wine.

 What I hadn't told you was that we all had matching leopard print onesies (their present to me......present or punishment??????) and leopard ears to wear for the Pyjama party bit of the evening. But to be fair, I think we looked pretty awesome:

Whoop! I put a picture on my blog, all by myself without blowing anything up or changing the way the Earth spins. Wow! Can't say you ain't been mentioned in a blog anymore can you Char???? Ha ha ha.

And so, we all got a little bored at the Blair Witch, Char fell asleep but then woke up with a-vengence, just as the rest of us were getting tired.We played a game of 'Would you rather' and 'Consequences', which bless him, A didn't get at all. And then we called it a night.

I went to sleep with giggling and I awoke to giggling. And when I growled through the door at them, I didn't expect them both to be wearing their ears as well. (I'm getting quite attached to mine). We visited Camden Market and all got some amazing food. I got the most divine fish and chips I'd had in a long time! And I mean divine! Then we got completely lost trying to find the nitro ice cream place - Chin Chin Laboratories. And yes, you guessed it they make ice cream before your eyes with liquid nitrogen. It is spectacular! And of course, amazing ice cream!

I think what I loved almost as much as the vanilla ice cream with raspberry sauce and grilled white chocolate (Oh my God that grilled white chocolate was orgasmic!) was the fact that they give you a plastic medicine spoon to eat it with and everything is kept in test tubes and conical flasks and you really feel like you're in a chemistry lab not an ice cream parlour. Needless to say, I will be returning! Yup yup!

And then sadly I had to say goodbye to my Ladies but hopefully only until Easter. Wicked weekend!!!!

And Sunday night we booked our flights for our annual massive holiday, this year to be back in the states (my idea) and I've managed to pay off half of them already, and we're flying Virgin Atlantic, and I've started saving my spends too. (Mainly because I've barely been out in the last three weeks due to all the reasons I will now list for you.)

A left me for a week to go to the States on business in which time I developed a hankering for full blown conversations with myself.

A bulldozer came and dumped it's load on me in the shape of SEN files, reports, portfolios, learning goals, planning, behaviour management sheets and monitoring sheets and of course a whole load of photos to print and make displays of.  And so I have been slowly suffocating under a 10ft pile of paper.

I had to chair a meeting of childcare and health care professionals. Chair a meeting. Me. Helen. Chair a meeting. I was a chair!

I had to initiate a NOC - Notice of concern for a child on the setting and have a meeting with the parents, presenting the concerns and strategies to take.

I completed a SA - Statutory Assessment form for a child, that will hopefully get them an educational statement. But anyone who has ever had to write one will know what a huge job it is, especially when you had to do the majority of it at home because you got no non contact time.

I did a stupid thing and forgot to get off at Kings Cross one day. I was too absorbed in trying to finish the brick (my huge 1006 page book - Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell) and I only realised at Angel. I had to get off, go back to Kings Cross, then change again for Russell Sqaure and then my early start was completely shat on and I barely made it on time. REM! Though I do slightly blame the brick.

Speaking of the brick. I did eventually finish it. Hmmmmm. I'm sure she could've said what she said in half the time and without all the footnotes. It felt like reading a text book not a fiction story. And whilst it did on occasion grip me, I would have needed to read it over a shorter period of time. It was way too drawn out.

I discovered yet another distraction from Netflix: Robin Hood (the BBC version). I managed to watch all 3, 13 episode series in about 4 days. He he. I still can't believe they killed off Marion. The 3 series was shite without her. I still think I should have been Maid Marion. (sighs contemplatively)

Walked along the road and thought I'd seen two clones. I kept thinking, they are about 25 and literally wearing the same thing. But not similar, the same. It was only as they got closer that I realised they were in school uniform and those 25 years olds were actually 15. Eek.

Custard creams are evil! They don't allow you to eat a small number. They make you obsessive. They lull you into a sense of thinking you won't put on any calories. But they are tasty. Do you think people could suffer from custard cream fetishes?

People were wearing coats on the tube today. It's 23 degrees outside, so about 30 degrees on the tube......I just don't get it sometimes.

A cyclist almost ran me over today when he zoomed through a red light at a pedestrian crossing. It wasn't even the usual zebra crossing fiasco, it was at a traffic lighted crossing. RETARD. (I know, it's not PC to say that. But he still is!

And finally, because I know you all have better things to do than listen to me rant.

The last three weeks has had me at breaking point. I mean literally, I am broken. My body is breaking down. My skin is slowly removing itself from my hands and fingers, because it doesn't want to be where I am. My skin is all splitting at the knuckles and bleeding and I have become so scatter brained I can't retain information anymore.

Burning the candle at both ends doesn't quite cover it. I'm no longer a candle, I'm just the pool of melted wax, slowly hardening again in a random deformed shape. (Slightly melodramatic but hopefully it gets my point across.)

And so after 18 days of no rants, I hope I have now significantly filled that void. I am knackered today after already doing 5 more hours over my supposed hours - and it's only Wednesday - not forgetting the 15 that I've done at home. But putting all that aside, A has made pizza and I am going to eat it and there are just 2 brownies and a cupcake left from the weekend that have my name on. And quite frankly I'm gonna comfort eat for Britain, as if an Olympic Gold rested on it. Ha ha.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the first photo. I have a feeling there will be many more in the blogs to come.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

10 minute warning.

What a week..........The week from hell doesn't actually cover it. I was so close to another post it note resignation. If it wasn't lack of manager or being understaffed and over ratio, then it was being bitten by a child whilst trying to entertain 2 educational psychologists, a child with SEN and the child's parent. Yep, that was definitely the highlight. But I think I've dwelled enough on that this week so I'll spare you anymore talk on the subject.

And so to Wednesday evening. Our love film came and we decided to watch Cars 2. I needed a night of mindless nicety and we are a Pixar loving household. Besides, the other choice was We need to talk about Kevin and I think I'd had quite enough of troublesome kids for one day. (Though I would like to see it and probably will watch it at some point this weekend. Have heard it's incredible.)

And so to the 15 adverts before the actual film comes on. What is it with Disney or Pixar movies. There's always so many and they're usually films that did pretty badly, or that went straight to DVD, or that you just don't give a crap about. But actually this wasn't meant to be a rant about the amount of adverts, this is meant to be a rant about the music used on the adverts.

So the first advert is for Lady and the Tramp and they use this hideous 15 year old, bubblegum pop track in the background. I mean, what the hell? "He's a Tramp" from Lady in the Tramp, originally sung by Peggy Lee is freakin' awesome! Why would you put some shitty American teen song of shite on it? Well to be sure it had me heading for the skip button on the remote.

But then the next advert was even better. I just can't believe it. It was an advert for Winnie the Pooh and Friends. You know, pretty much aimed at the under five market because it's soppy and boring (sorry, never been a fan of the Pooh) and contains a freakin' mentally ill donkey. And who do they put in the background? Yes, you guessed it, the one and only........Keane with their depressing - make you wanna kill yourself song - Somewhere only we know. (to be fair that might not actually be the title, but as you can tell I'm not exactly a fan of the Keane either)

My actual reaction was: "Fuckin' Keane on the fuckin' Winnie the Pooh advert. What?"
And I think that pretty much sums it up. When the suicide rate in under fives shoots up, we'll know why.
(Okay that last comment was pretty crude but really.......Keane? What will they think of next?)      

Oh and after all that, Cars 2 was pretty shite and I fell asleep in the middle of it. BORING and unnecessary. The first Cars was awesome and full of soul but this was just pure greed. MONEY MONEY MONEY always sunny in Pixar's world.

Anyhoo, the hell week was finished on a wonderful note, with last night three of my amazing friends coming round for dinner and large amounts of alcohol. I was walking home thinking how much I just wanted to wallow in self pity and not have company, but then as soon as I walked through the door, I shook off my self pity cloak and accepted the love and warmth of my lovely friends. I was given wine before I even managed to take my coat off and within seconds I was chin wagging away, leaving that stinker of a week behind and looking forward to a few hours of good company, good food and wine.

I really had a blast, we all did and it was just unfortunate that owing to last trains and last tubes and all that nonsense, they couldn't make it to see ME at KOKO's in Camden. I figured we weren't going either as it was already 11.15 and I was still in my clothes from work and I was thinking of quite happily finishing off that bottle of Vodka. (I state for the record. I am not an alcoholic!) But then A just announces that of course we are still going and we have to leave in 10 minutes. So I had a 10 minute warning to change clothes, do hair and make-up. Luckily I am master of the 10 minute make-over, due to all the times I used to get ready for Maximes in the toilets at Brigade, or get ready in the toilets at work before going straight out after my shift.

And so off we went to the NME night at KOKO's to party with the kids. Eeek. If you haven't heard of this band, they are called ME and they are awesome as they proved to us once again last night, or technically this morning as they weren't on stage until about quarter past midnight. I did loose my hat which was actually such an A thing to do, but ah well. The band were awesome and it was so long since I'd been to Koko's, I'd forgotten what an amazing venue it was. I was really feeling the music, losing myself and letting go. Something I haven't done for quite some time. It was sort of cleansing. I felt really young again, really connected with something. Still, a shame I lost my hat. Ha ha.

Oh yeah, when I went off to look for my hat, someone tried to swoop in on A. I came back and he was all like, this girl jumped on me as soon as you left. I was livid. I was like, where is she, if she comes anywhere near us I'm gonna punch her. How dare she make a move on my man. I felt like Wendy Testaburger from South Park. The jealousy spike was high!

And I will finish off this rather lengthy blog with the answer to the question on everyone's lips. Why is Adele so popular in America? And the answer is, because she's not a whore.

So many female acts are just dressed and marketed to look like strippers or whores and Adele, well, bless her but that probably wouldn't work for her, so she has this whole oh her voice is actually good thing, going for her. As opposed to, oh you can almost see her noo nah in that dress.

A made me watch some videos this morning. The new Madonna which I of course hated every second of and when I saw that picture of her in the heart shaped bra thing, well you can only imagine the language I used. Needless to say, same age as my mother came up a few times.

Then A wowed me with Porcelain  Black. I hadn't heard of her and to be honest, I wish I never had. I will say this: Shit song, not rock in the slightest, Ga Ga wannabe, whore, St Trinians, she doesn't actually have a voice it's just a (I smoke 90 a day) growl and the premise of the video is just ridiculous. Oh I have one half of my hair white, one half black and people used to call me weird, so now I wear stockings and suspenders to school and I say I'm a rock chick because those stockings and suspenders happen to be black (and we all know rockers only wear black) and now I'm all alternative and scary and I eat cocks for breakfast. I mean, really, check it out on you tube or something because it is hilarious nonsense. Though on second thoughts it'll probably go viral and then we'll have to put up with more of her ridiculous shenanigans, so don't look her up. Forget I said anything.

And finally I was treated to Rhianna, You're da one dat I think about all da-a-ay. OH MY GOD! What is it with women grabbing their crotches in music videos now? We don't have anything to grab and it ain't sexy. Besides she's got a huge following of 8 year olds and she's essentially teaching them to touch themselves inappropriately and to accept cock. There's one shot where she actually looks nice but the rest of it is just dressed like a whore, dressed like the guy from clockwork orange and her singing that she wants cocks cocks cocks.

A admitted that she's scary, but she's obviously quite a big fantasy for some men. I mean, do they get off on the idea that she could actually devour them, body mind and cock. Does that turn guys on? Or is it just that she seems like a sure thing. She'd give it away pretty easily? I dunno. But on a slight girly note, her nails are awesome in that video. Ha!

So in short, that is why Adele is loved in the states and of course because of her voice and congratulations to her. We Brits aren't exactly renowned for success over the pond.

And that was slightly random. Ah, maybe it's the alcohol still in my system, or maybe I'm just a crank. I know which one is more likely, especially at 4.50pm. Ha.

As always thanks for reading and L, T, D and of course A, thanks for last night!

Good weekends everyone.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ahhhhh, the price of butter!

Ahhhhhh, the price of butter. Dear lord I went into Sainsburys last night to get various things for the (awesome) risotto I made and I remembered I needed butter. Honestly I bought the same butter last week and for the past few months and it has been £1.29. I went in yesterday and it was £1.75. That's a (quick maths) 46p increase in a week!!

Now I don't want to turn into a grumpy old woman complaining about the price of butter, but........Really, if it keeps increasing like that then I won't be making any more cakes or biscuits, that's for sure. Jesus. If only my salary made the same increase to compensate for it. Ha ha.

Anyhoo, I had a fantabulous weekend up north with my family. My big brother turned 30 and we had a nice celebration. It was all very civilised. We went for a meal (which was actually pretty darn expensive but we're so used to toptable and voucher codes that I can't even remember the last time we ate out full price). And then we went back to drink our body weight, eat my mum's cake and my cookies. Mmmmmm, good night.
We then finished with a massive roast at my mum and dad's the next day. Ham and Beef roasts. Yum!

It was great to actually spend time with my brother and his girlfriend and my cousin came from Norfolk as well with his lady and I never get to see them so it was wonderful. What I don't like is the fact that I can say the words, "I'll be 30 next year." NEXT YEAR! As in, not this year, next year! ARGH! Not good.

Eeee, it's gone cold again. We had the lovely 1st March rouse and now it's like "yeah we're just making up for your mild winter. Ha, in your face London." It's so cold I had to leave my coat on on the tube. And considering I was sweating like a pig the week before it's a little disorientating. My body can't recover from my cold (my three week plus, cold) because the temperature is all over the place and now I'm stuck in this strange limbo where my throat just can't get better and I can't sing very well. That makes me a right grumpy cow.

I had to plinky plonk all the way home from work on Monday, as I needed to bring my xylophone back. My three octave, three and half foot long xylophone, which I carried on my back on the tube. Believe me when I say, never again. It was all in the name of my kids and their education, of course, it always is. But it certainly wasn't in the name of my back, shoulders and aching muscles, not to mention my bashed knees, as every time I took a step, it bashed the back of my knees. He he.

 I got a few strange looks too. People couldn't figure out what I had in there. Wrong shape for a cello, violin etc.......But as soon as I started moving the plinky plonk gave me away. I made a tune all the way home. And I think from now on, it will stay at home, unless I suddenly get a car and can transport it without becoming a human turtle.

Speaking of heavy packages. I'm getting a little sick of my book that is essentially a brick. Every one raves about this book and whilst it is good, it does rabbit on a little too much. I mean I struggle with brevity, everyone knows that, but this is taking the biscuit. It's over a thousand pages and I am still only 640 pages in, after like a month or more. I just feel like she could have said most of what she wanted to say, in half the time. I'd figured out a few things that were going to happen about 17 chapters before they actually did. It's like, get on with it, I'm the one who has to risk a wrist injury when reading it one handed on the tube. Honestly, they just don't think about us traditionalists that don't have a kindle.

And now I've ranted so much I feel bad about revealing the title or author. Imagine if that was my book someone was dissing. My international bestseller, that was being slated by a non existent, probably never to be published writer from Wigan. Yeah, I probably wouldn't give a shit. Ha ha. It's Jonathon Strange and Mr Norell. And I know you're all gonna shout at me now, because you all loved it, but hey, I'd love it too if it didn't give me wrist strain.

Ha ha. I'll keep you posted on the verdict, if I ever finish the damn thing.

And finally, I'd just like to rant about computers. Every time I switch the thing on, up pops a little box. Oh such a body has an update, would you like to download it? I'm sure this happens a least once a week. It's so frustrating. There's always a fucking adobe reader update!

It's really annoying. Someone is obviously employed to just tick me off by updating it every week. Surely they've got other things to be doing. It's the same with I tunes too: Would you like to download 10.1, 10.4, 10.6, 23000000................? NO! I'd like to be left in peace with my current version thank you. For at least a month. Is that too much to ask?

And now taking a deep breath, I'd better get off to work. There's nothing like being without a manager and overstocked with kids. Whoop!

Happy Wednesday.