Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Extra ranty goodness.

It has been brought to my attention that I have become less ranty of late. For this I apologise. I'll try not to let that happen again.......

Okay so that stupid woman who kept trying to shove past me to get on the tube despite the others not having got off yet......urgh! She kept bashing the back of my legs with her bag. I wouldn't mind but the tube was practically empty and in no danger of leaving without her. But some people just have this blind ambition to get a seat and they can't think of anything else. They have their sights set on a particular seat and that's it. So they ignore the poor people waiting patiently in front of them. Stupid woman.

Not sure who this scent belongs to but I'm literally suffocating. I think it's supposed to be cologne but quite frankly it smells like hospital. Ewwwwww. Why does everyone have to be subjected to your dire taste in perfume. My nostrils have been violated!

Thankfully it was only one stop. Jesus. Whoever made that stink pot must have a hospital fetish. Nasty. It's probably Gaga or something.

The old thighs are dying today. Did 12.4kms yesterday. Felt good.......at the time. But dear lord. Most of last night I could barely move and now my legs are laughing at me as I have to be active all day with my kids and they know I can't be. Bastards.

Bending down/ crouching is a tough one, but I was completely fine after my 10kms last week. Maybe that's my threshold and then after that my body breaks. It also seems to be my threshold for other things too such as sports bra chafing. Oooo that's a right nasty business.

Continued after work...........

Dig me using my Ipod (Frank) to take notes about my blog. It's mainly due to the fact that I forgot to pack a book in my morning haste. As usual for me technology is a last resort rather than a first. But still I guess it's progress into that blasted 21st Century.

This is my last working week without a uniform. So after four years and three months they are forcing me to change my habits and wear a nursery branded t-shirt. The horror! (Did you notice the bad word in this sentence? Change. Not one of my favourite words, especially when applied to me.)

From next week we'll all be the same, wearing a boring t-shirt completely losing our identity. (Melodramatic.)
I don't want to wear a freakin' shitty t-shirt. (Having a paddy now.) Besides it limits me to only two possible pairs of jeans as my other two pairs need me to wear something long over the top, preferably a dress due to the clinginess of thigh.

I'm sure they're only doing it because we've got Ofsted anytime soon. Like they give a stuff if we're wearing matching t-shirts. All they care about is  paperwork and policies and safeguarding and the bloody new EYFS. I asked if we could have dress down Fridays as we are only given two t-shirts  and whilst it may be feasible to wear each one twice, three times is not an option. Tube heat plus Helen equals one sweaty bitch. Which means I'm going to be constantly washing bloody t-shirts. Urgh! Though at least they're not making us wear the red ones. But my manager said she didn't think the boss would like it if he came round and saw us out of uniform. He comes round about three times a year and probably wouldn't notice considering our branch has never had a uniform in at least five years if not longer. Tight buggers. Anyhow I'll probably end up with paint on it within one day.

Another year older. Was my birthday at the weekend. 29 now. And really feeling that down hill slide towards 30. I also feel an insane desire to write a list. You know, the list of things I want to do before I'm 30, though the one thing I want more than anything is unlikely to happen before I'm forty, which is even more depressing than the fact I'm going to be 30 in the first place. When did time start slipping away? When did my sentences become so long? (I feel I need to clarify the thing I want more than anything, which is to become a published writer.)

So maybe I will make a list and try and keep it reasonably attainable. The last thing I want to be is 30 and a failure. I mean that can't be good. I can guarantee most of the list will consist of places to visit, which will make it easier to succeed.

For my birthday this year I took full advantage of the bank holiday weekend, though typically on my actual birthday when A had treated me to a coach trip to Stonehenge, it was pissing it down! 2 hours on a coach with a lingering hang over from my bubbly induced drunkenness of the night before.....followed by heavy rain and wind and me stupidly only wearing a thin jumper. Stonehenge is one of those places I've always wanted to visit since I was a kid. (It doesn't have to go on the list now.) But strangely enough they don't tell you it's in the arse end of no where and takes so long to get to but only a fraction of that time to actually see it.

What they also don't tell you as a kid is that no one actually knows anything about it's origins or it's reasons for existence. It's hilarious. You have to listen to a free audio guide which basically consists of two posh Brits speculating about stuff.  Using words such as 'possibly', 'somehow' and our favourite phrase 'the ceremonies that may have taken place here.' They haven't got a bloody clue. No one has. But of course this just added to our perpetual laughter. (Still some alcohol zooming through my veins.)

In all fairness. It was amazing. Beautiful and atmospheric if you discounted the multitude of colourful umbrellas and complaining kids. 'If it's man made, why would anyone want to come and see a man made piece of rock?' To which the mum replied. 'It's not the rock that's man made.' To which the kid answered. 'Well who wants to see something man made anyway.' Little shit! After twenty minutes of pelting rain and mild hypothermia (slight over-exaggeration although my jumper was very thin.) the weather did improve a little. And there became this diagonal band of grey dissecting the henge with rolling white clouds and blue sky on the other side. Very cool.

 And so with a coffee and a hot chocolate to warm ourselves up we headed back to London, with a shit load of photos and a lot of giggles. Another two hours on the couch but the saving grace was A having bought two films on his Ipad so we had a mini frightfest with a horror film on the way there and one on the way back. Love it. 99p films from Itunes store. Winner!

I'm sure there's probably more I need to rant about but I keep distracting myself with Netflix. Sorry. But I'll leave you with this one.

To top it all off. I got a second letter in the last week from my doctor inviting me to come for a cervical screening. I love it how they 'invite' you, like it's a party. Oh yeah, just whip your pants off and we'll poke around. Whoop. But you can always wear this party hat and have a lollipop. Lovely.

I know I should have been having them since I was 25 but I don't like to be rushed and I still don't want to have one now but I guess it's on the list before 30 so if I get it over and done with now then it's done until I'm 32. But it's just so........intrusive. There's only one man I trust to poke around down there and quite frankly no one else should, ever! And so I will of course be requesting a woman. Not that it makes it any better. I don't particularly have any girl on girl fantasies and certainly not using gynecological instruments. Even the word gynecology gives me the creeps and funnily enough makes me cross my legs.

Oh well, it'll still take me a little while to psyche myself up but I do realise that despite being roughly 17 in my head, I'm not. I do realise this. And even if I didn't A likes to point it out. "You think you're younger than you are, don't you?"
Yeah. So what? I hang around with four year olds all day, what do you expect?

Anyhoo. Enough with the complete over share. I hope I have satisfied the rantiness and will continue to do so over the next few blogs. Am excited to get to the 100th! Whoop!

Enjoy the remaining 3 days of the week. (How amazing are bank holidays?) And support the Paralympics!!!!

Oh, one last thing. I went on Amazon looking for some presents for my kids and I found this as a description:
Plastic Music Wind Instrument Musical Flute.

It's a fucking recorder. For god's sake, I know the musical education in this country isn't the best unless you've got a lot to pay. But still. The idea that a flute could be made of plastic, or played vertically, or be £4.00 is just preposterous. It's a recorder you dumb shit! I had a toy flute as a kid but it was still played horizontally and had the mouth piece and everything.

Please teach your kids the proper names for instruments. It really riles me up. Oh and another one is when people put a metal glockenspiel and then call it a xylophone. Whoa whoa! Xylophone's are made of wood not metal. It is a very easy distinction. Argh!

And goodnight!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fucked up dreams and pulling teeth.......

Okay so this is taking the piss now. What the fuck is with the fucking fucked up dreams????????

Aaaaaarrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhh! I can't sleep. My dreams are right royally messed up and it's driving me demented. And what's worse is the dreams are of people that I haven't seen in years which drags up a lot of history stuff that I don't really want dragging up. And I'm on lates so I don't even need to be up at 5.57am for the last two days running. Pissin' sun waking up so god damn early! Argh!

Subsequently I'm snappy at the kids and can't be arsed at work and just don't want to be there. Yes I'm having a work crisis but to be fair I've been having that on and off for the last four years, so that's not exactly new.

But really, how many new scenarios are there where I can have my teeth fall out on me. (This is one of the recurring dream themes, yet the scenarios are always slightly different.) I realise I have latent teeth trauma issues but really that was over a month ago and it's all healed and I'm fine, well, except for the paranoia and constant feeling that they're all gonna crumble on me.

Not even the strict regime of brushing, flossing and mouth wash seems to be enough anymore. But what the hell else can I do? I know most of it is psychological, but really psychology sucks! Piss off mind. Piss off subconscious thoughts. Just piss off and let me sleep!

And it's not just the new and ingenious ways for all my teeth to leave me, it's random guilt trips and uncomfortable situations. What ever happened to good dreams? What ever happened to waking up and having a whole songs worth of lyrics in my head or a new story idea. Well I guess I could probably knock something together in the way of teeth horror fiction, but I'm not sure how well that would go down.

Anyhoo, sleep grumpiness aside, I now have the added stress (self-induced of course) of a bake sale at work to raise money for my charity half marathon. Mainly because none of the parents have sponsored me yet and I want to bribe them with sweet things. (Works with their kids....)

Would you like a scowl with that cake? 'Cause that's all you're gonna get!

I've just lost the patience to be overly nice anymore. I can't seem to do it. I can't seem to make small talk with the parents anymore. I just don't know what to say. Well today I'll be saying, "Buy a cake, Buy a cake, get down to Helen Richards' bake sale. Buy a cake" (To the tune of Buy a bike - Charnock Richards Cycles jingle. Okay only Northerners specifically from the North West will get this one. Oh and it's no relation.)

They'd better bloody buy something after all the crap I put up with. That's literal and metaphorical crap!
When I told some of them that I was having a bake sale, you'd have thought I'd pissed on their shoes or something. Honestly, It's not like I'm force feeding them sugar. And ideally I would like the parents to eat them anyway. They're much more likely to enjoy and savour a cake or biscuit of mine, rather than shove it in in one go or let half of it fall on the floor. Besides, most of them are sent in with croissants and all kinds of shit in a morning. Nutella on toast, chocolate croissants. The best one was the child who used to come in with an ice cream every morning, because it was the only way they could get her out of the house.......Really? Yet they look at me as though I'm ready with the pliers to just jerk those teeth right out. Which if they had any idea of the dreams I've been having lately, they wouldn't be thinking at all.

(Sigh). And so to the saving grace of yesterday. The verdict is in and I'm apparently not an alien. Here is a conversation between two of my 4 years olds at the tea table:

J      "Helen. Can I have some more soup?"
H     "Yes of course. One second."
Ju    "Helen. I want some more water."
I'm currently pouring out the soup for the other child.
Ju    "Helen I want some more water."
H    "Okay I heard you."
Ju    "I still want some more water."
H    "Ju, you can see I am already doing something. You have to wait. I only have one pair of hands."
Z     "Yeah Ju. She's not an alien."

 So there you have it. Proof that I am of this world, if only for my lack of more than two arms. He he. Made me laugh anyway. 

Well, my final batch of cookies should be ready any minute now and then I have to cart four lots of cake tins and boxes with me to work. That'll put me in a fabulous mood!

Anyhoo. Fingers crossed for generous parents and pleasant dreams!

Happy Wednesday. At least it's the middle of the week. Getting closer to that all important bank holiday Monday. Whoop!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

E, it's not easy is it?

Wow! Am back from my longest run since my Marathon back in 2010. (Yes, I know that's terrible but I do have 2 novels to show for it.) I did it. I crossed the 10km mark and didn't do too bad of a time.

10.2km in 1.09.00. My previous best for 10km is 1.03.00 (can't remember the seconds) which was back in May 2009 when I was three years younger and way more sprightly. So I'm completely happy with that. Now I have just six weeks to double that and keep my time to 10 minute miles.

And if I can produce that time with scorching heat then hopefully I can keep going longer when it's at least 10 degrees colder in October. 

Forgot to wear my Team GB official Olympic sweat bands though. Mistake. My shoulders and face are glistening with sweat but that could be coupled with the suncream literally melting off me. I wonder if any one else has to go running in suncream or if they just run so fast the sun can't catch them.

It's ridiculous though, I can't even travel light when I run. Phone, keys, tissues (essential), Frank my Ipod (yes I am now running to music. Seems to drown out my inner voice of doubt which usually says I'm tired and need to stop. Evil voice of doubt.) and my hilly filled with Vimto and four mini shaped ice cubes - it's all in the details and vimto is of course, the drink of champions. Ha ha. Maybe of Northern champions?

So, if I can lose a bit of weight and stop taking my life with me when I run that should enable me to run a tad faster. Well it's not really faster I need to run so much as, longer, longer and longer.

I didn't go in the old stretchy pants today as 1, they are black and 2, I need to wear a skirt over the top for obvious reasons. (To hide my ass and thighs.....obviously!) So I opted for sports bra and shorts. But it was still too much clothing. Of course all the posers were out in their teeny shorts and tiny sports bras (mine is full length...). Summer is just a breeding ground for the blonde, tanned, super fit people of the world to descend upon Regents park and make everyone else look bad. Is it wrong I was tempted to barge them, trip them up, general sabotage? Well you've got to entertain yourself when running alone. Though I was lucky enough to be accompanied by Fair to Midland's 3rd album - Fables from A Mayfly. Thanks guys. Pretty good music to run too and awesome music in general!!!!!! Okay so I'm a slight fan, but really they're awesome, check them out!!!!!!

And so I am sat blogging in my own sweat (lovely image) as it's way too hot to jump in the shower yet. I take a good two hours to return to normal colour and temperature levels. So in the mean time I will tell you about my amazing feat of yesterday.

You know when you go to the cinema and it's a lovely day outside but once you've been sat in the air condition for a few minutes you're bloody freezing? Yes. Well we had that exact same problem last week when we went to watch Dark Knight Rises. So yesterday when we went to watch the new Bourne film, you know the one without Matt Damon ("Matt Damon" said in drawling Team America voice.) I went prepared.

Due to the mini London heat wave we seem to be having, I was (shock, horror) wearing a skirt. Now I knew my arms would get cold so I made sure I had a cardigan but I also slipped in a pair of tights. Well, you never know.

So for the first 40mins I was fine, then it was definitely time for the cardigan. Another 20 minutes later and I'm gunning for the tights. Have you ever tried to put tights on in the dark, whilst watching a film, in public, without flashing or drawing too much attention to yourself???? No? You should try it. Ha ha. It's hilarious. Managed to get the feet in fine and got them pulled up to about my thigh area which was fine as the skirt covered it, but it was bloody uncomfortable. So over the next ten minutes leaving gaps in between each attempt, I managed to get the tights pulled up. Ahhhhhh. Now that felt much better. Toasty warm!!!!

I'll definitely be doing that again, now I know it can be done. Or the other option is taking a blanket with you. I'm not kidding it's pissin' freezing in there.

The film was fairly good, following the same Bourne formula as the others just without Matt Damon. Although I kind of like his replacement. He was in Mission Impossible 4 and various other things. He's cute.

Anyhoo, A is going rock climbing with his friend for some male bonding so I will be home alone writing, possibly interspersed with episodes of VD3. No it's not a disease, it's Vampire Diaries Season 3. Yes I am sad and yes I love it and no I don't really care. I love HMV it always sends things out early. This doesn't actually come out till Monday but I got it yesterday. Winner! And yes I've already seen them all on ITV 2 but this is gonna be the entire series in probably a week. That's how a series should be seen. Yes yes yes!!! Bring on the sexual tension. There's so much of the glorious stuff!!!!! Keeps me hooked anyway, even when the plot goes a bit wayward, there's always love triangles and jealousy and all that scrumptious unrequited feelings. Wow, I think it really is an illness. Ha ha.

Well, I appear to be cooling significantly, so it may be almost time to jump in the shower and rid myself of my run. I think I was quite happy to stew in my hard work today, proud of every bead of sweat. I know now I've mastered that 10km barrier that I can do it and hopefully stamp all over that voice of doubt. Though if someone could turn the thermostat down a tad just whilst I'm running, that would be fantabulous!

Happy Sunday everyone. Hope it's a glorious one!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

London Bleached

Gone are the union jacks adorning chests, heads, faces, backs, legs and bags. Gone are the colours of the world. Gone is the pride for country and man. Gone is the sense of community. Gone is conversation with strangers.

London is bleached. Back to it's usual grey suited, black briefcased best. No conversation. No sound only kindles and Ipods to block out the rest of existence. That stiff upper lip at its stiffest. Smiles buried. Pride reigned in. Head's down. Now there is no longer anything to talk about, why bother?

I realised today after walking behind a suity, wearing a grey suit and carrying a black briefcase, that I had no desire to ever have to wear a suit to work. (Not that anywhere requiring a suit would ever employ me.) But it just struck me as ridiculously boring and limiting. How do you express your personality? How do you be yourself? And the briefcase. Oh no. A sexy satchel yes, but a briefcase....no!

Thankfully though, pre-school teachers/writers don't tend to need smart clothing, so that's a relief. And to be honest I'd never get anywhere with a briefcase. I usually have a rucksack and at least one other shoulder bag. Travelling light, not my thing.

My Ipod battery ran out on the way to work on Tuesday and I felt so dejected. I can't remember the last time I didn't have music to drown out the world on a tube journey unless A was there with me. But what surprised me most was the quiet. No one spoke. This is no exaggeration. No one spoke in the whole carriage. No one even made eye contact. It's every man for himself (or herself), absorbed in whatever activity is part of their commuting routine. Be it newspapers, books, writing, kindles, games or puzzles. I did actually see a guy once sat on the floor of the tube writing music on manuscript paper. And of course some of the more seasoned travelling women can apply make-up and do some pretty complex beauty regimes whilst speeding along the London travel network. Boggles my mind.

Anyhoo. Am having a doubt time at the moment, when I second guess everything thought, word and action. Am I on a downward spiral or is it just my mind making me think I am? The mind is a pretty dangerous and influential appendage (not sure if that's quite the right word to use in this circumstance, but it is a good word.).
It can manipulate your thoughts and actions, reduce you to a blubbering wreck or leave you feeling high as a kite.

It can work with you or more often than not against you, dragging your inner most anxieties to the forefront, exposing your worst fears. The mind can be a great tool if it can be controlled. But do we control it, or do it control us? Can you in any way separate yourself from your mind? It is welded into your brain, a part of you that is always on. It stores all those memories and experiences that have happened to us and throws them back at us whenever it decided. And usually the ones we'd rather forget. The ones that make your stomach clench, your teeth grate and your cheeks pink with embarrassment. No other organ or part of your body has that power over you. It is not to be trifled with!

Ahhhhhhh. Apologies for the depressive moment. And the random rambling. It probably doesn't make a lot of sense but sometimes I just have to bash out some nonsense and make some sort of sense of it and then bore you guys with it. He he.

And now I have a boring training session. I finished work at 4 and had to come back at 6 to learn about the new EYFS. Yeah. Change. Oh how I love it!

I've worn a flower all day, a present from one of my kids. You gotta love 'em.

Oh and randomly I had my first comment on blogspot last week from a guy who also saw a cirumzenithal arc in the sky over the Olympics park. How weird. There were two sky nutters out there. Who would have thought?

Have a great Wednesday night.

EYFS awaits....urgh!

Monday, August 13, 2012

The show's not over until Helen blogs.

The closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, typed up from notes I made throughout. I have not altered or changed these in any way, so they are gut instincts, split second decisions on what was happening. This means I will inevitably offend almost everyone......Here goes.

Emeli Sande - Flat throughout. Who the feck are you anyway? Did she even try to sing in tune?

40 members of Stomp on the other hand - Awesome! Choir pretty nice too!

Ahhhh, Julian Lloyd Weber - Scruffy and weird looking but a bloody beautiful cellist.

Peter Pettigrew - I always forget his real name but he was Peter Pettigrew from Harry Potter. Ha ha. Timothy Spall doing a great job as Winston Churchill.

I like the traffic and all the different transport even down to roller blades, though that is sort of funny as you can't roller blade practically anywhere in London. Most parks it is banned and you can't do it on the pavements. Anyhoo. Traffic. Nice. Rush hour conveyed. Just multiply it by a million.

All newspaper coverings. Emphasis on recycling? Or Britains' love of newspapers?

Prince Henry - Did anyone else go, "His name's not Henry, it's Harry?" Confused? He looked pretty confused himself.

Ahhhhh, the National Anthem (again!). Man are we sick of hearing that now.....he he.

Del Boy's car - Legendary Only Fools and Horses. A and I suspect a lot of non Brits would find that one tricky.

Madness - Lovely, though I know they ain't gonna do Baggy Trousers. Crazy kilt guy looks amazing. I love Madness. It doesn't matter how much they age, they've still got it!!

Blur - Park Life/Park Live.....I get it now. They were playing live at Hyde Park.

Guards Marching Band - Lovely slow marching.

Pet Shop Boys - Love the origami cyclist stuff. Lovely cone hats too. Pointy! Bloody weirdos but you gotta love 'em.

What the feck is this? - Argh! Cheesy pop. Little gay boys. Oh, One Direction - Not a cock between them.
How did they get in the closing ceremony? And they're not even singing?

Yeah Stomp - Making noise with bin lids. Whoop! And not forgetting big sticks. Awesome!
They stomp all over One Direction and their tiny pricks.

Chaos and hustle and bustle of London. It's why we love it!

Spelbound - What is this? Crazy acrobatic creepiness? Yeah. I can do that too.

Ray Davis - Waterloo Sunset.....TUNE!

Crazy acrobatics goin' on in the background as well.

It's not fucking her again. She still can't sing. She's pissin' flat again. Piss off. (Emeli Sande) Who's she screwing to get so much air time/face time? I'd like you to sing in tune please. And was it really necessary to costume change especially as you're singing the same song. And even if she wasn't singing the same song, it sounded the same.

Cue emotional interlude which basically consists of clips of everyone crying. Yes. It's depressive Britain at it's best.

(Emeli Sande) She's really no substitute for Adele. She's just a bit shit and irritating. Who made her Queen of the World?

Whoop! All the flag bearers back. Lovely. Though the sequined lady escorts were hideous. Eek.

Elbow getting all sentimental. Come on you Northerners.

I don't think I ever watched an entire closing ceremony before. It's beautiful. Or that could be because it's my games in my city, my country. It means a lot. Very emotional.

All the flags together. Very nice. It's my philosophy in life - 'Why can't everyone just get along?' Well here they are getting along.

Well done Ireland. 5 medals!!!!

It's like a ticker tape parade. You fill up that Union Jack. Full of people from all over the World. An International Island.

Come on Kate Bush, we need you.

I want a blue hat with a light bulb on it. Awesome!

3 new nations won a medal this time, that had never won one before. Love it. That's what it's all about.

Shame they just repeated all the songs we'd already heard. They obviously underestimated how long it would take to get all the athletes in. 2 songs from Elbow just won't cut it.

As soon as the drums started, I knew. I started screaming but sadly no Katie Bush. What a tune though! Running up that Hill. I'm glad she was involved and she definitely re-recorded the song. (I know it like the back of my hand and it was different from the original and remixed versions...sad, I know.) I'm almost convinced she was in that pyramid thing though. She is the ultimate recluse.

Marathon medal ceremony = time to get ice cream and cake.

The volunteers - Legends!

Those light things that the audience have are awesome!

Am I the only one who's had enough of Imagine?

Needed cake and ice-cream to get over the lack of Katie.

George - Go George. He was havin' a lovely time. I love how George still thinks he's 30. Still he's growing older way more gracefully than Madonna - Crotch showing Ho!

I don't know the second song of George. I don't think anyone else does either. (Found out it's his new single)
Sorry George but it's terrible! He's got a bit of dad dancing going on.

Have to say, the choir are brilliant!

Kaiser Chiefs? MOD? Pinball Wizard.

Where's Elton? Wasn't in the opening ceremony either. Boo!

Bowie - Only in clips.

Kate moss - Not sure how happy I am that she got in on it. Dirty drug supping ho.

Ahhhh, British fashion. Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell.......Am I supposed to know the others?
Glamorous outfits? Hideous outfits? Yes!

My word this blog will take me a while to write.

Annie Lennox -  A wench on a Pirate ship. Stella! Epic. Always one for drama. She's still got it.
Now that's a performance. Shits all over One Di- pissin'- rection and that stupid Emeli Snade woman.
I want a Pirate ship like that!

Ed Sheeran - Looking cute and ginger as ever. Nothing like a depressing interlude. Now I know he was playing a Floyd song, but it was still depressing.

Oh. Random tight rope walkers, or maybe just one as the other looks like a dummy. And yes, they just set it on fire. Lovely.

Must go and get ready for work now. Will finish Blog on my lunch break. Told you it was a long one. Been typing 45 minutes already and still 7 pages of my notebook to type up.

And I'm on lunch and ready to finish this blog of epic proportions:

Why is Russell Brand murdering a classic tune from Charlie and the Chocolate factory? Come to think of it, why the hell is he here? He's such a tool! Oh look, I'm miming like a completely untalented prick!

Fat Boy Slim - Now that's better. He looks so cute in his little shirt. Awwwww. Random inflatable octopus??? Some tunes though!!! Takes me back.

Fuck off Jessie J and next time put some pissin' clothes on.

Tiny Temper - hmmmmm. Taio Cruz???

Oh, I get it. It's the modern bit. No, you've lost me!

Why has she got white shoes on? Her meagre attempt at clothes are beigey off white. Looks terrible. I know I know nothing about fashion, but even I can colour match (to a certain extent).

They've given up now. They don't know what the hell they're doing. They've reverted to mum and dad dancing. (Jessie J, Taio Cruz, Tiny Temper....still)

And then come the black cabs, doing their ballet? Or so the commentator said. Who else could it be but the Spice Girls. Yeah. You can't help but smile. Oooooo, I love a good medley. It's like no time has passed. He he. Though they were struggling to keep upright on top of those cabs.

Oasis - Nice! Shame Noel's no longer there, he has a much better voice. Still. Tuneage!

Is it wrong that so far Spice Girls and Annie Lennox were the highlights. Oasis were pretty good too.

Man in a cannon......bizarre. Should have known it had something to do with Eric Idle. LEDGE!
Nice touches: Morris dances, beautiful angels, roller blading nuns, roman centurions and Indian dancers. Always look on the bright side of life! Not forgetting the random soprano avec trident. You always need one of those.

And then eventually the guy did shoot out of the canon. Nicely eccentric!
Oh look, it's Mr Bellamy playing his terrible Olympic song in a spangly suit. You sure as hell ain't gonna win with this terrible song. Eeeeshk. You were so good once.

Freddy on the big screen, captivating the entire audience with some vocal warm ups. And then Brian and those grey curls. Killer. And all the guitarists wank together. Ahhhhh. Sweet release!

Oh no, It's Jessie J again. Why? NO? Sacrilege!

Yeah. Boris is here. What do you mean he's not flying in on a zip wire??? Gutted.

Enter Brazil's offering: Tap dancing cleaners; whistles, samba, bright lights and way too many sequins. What's with the random condom heads that light up? Woo. So many sequins. My eyes.

Pele - No way.

Eeeee, it does go on. I need to be up at 6am.

And of course here come Take That. It's just like the bad ending to Stardust all over again.

You gotta love the cauldron: Mr Heatherwick's magical creation. We salute you and I love the epic end. Darcey Bussell arriving as a Phoenix, strutting her stuff and showing some lovely moves. Dra-ma-tic!

Goodbye Olympic Flame!

The Who with their theme tune to one of the CSI programmes. He he.

No literally, will it ever end?

And that is actually where it does end for me. I didn't bore you with all the handing over stuff at the end. Boring. But I did bore you with all this rambling nonsense. Apologies. You know I'm a sucker for an occasion and the closing of the London 2012 Olympics was a pretty emotional, epic end to what was a fantastic two weeks.

To be honest I'm dreading everyone coming back to London. I'll bet the tubes are rammed again. It's been so quiet during the Olympics. He he.

Happy Monday afternoon every one. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Are you a record breaker??????

Are you? Because I am. He he. The Gold medal Women's Football match on Thursday night was a record crowd for an Olympic Women's football match. 80, 203 people and we were two of them! Awesome!

And boy did we know there were 80,000 people. Oh my word. Writers talk about floods of people but this was phenomenal. Spilling out of Wembley Park station in all directions, but with one destination in mind. I've literally never seen this many people together before.

Ants seem to be a decent analogy. Swarms of ants scurrying around, desperate to pick up tickets, find food and take their seats.

Within the hoards were masses of USA and Japanese fans, as well as a whole host of nations and their colours. We were still undecided on who to support, but it didn't really matter, the atmosphere just getting into the place was electric, never mind what it would be like once it started.

I'd never been in New Wembley. I had the pleasure of once travelling to Old Wembley to watch Wigan Athletic in a play off final from Division 2 I think, against Gillingham. Man that was a long time ago. He he. But really, wow, new Wembley is pretty awesome!

We picked up our tickets and went round to the turnstile to get in, A suddenly excited by the turnstile entrance. Well it is usual for a football stadium. Bless him. He's not well up on ball sports. So after the obligatory body search and bag search we were off to find food and our seats. Now we'd only bought our tickets a week or so ago and we'd got second price tickets so we knew they should be good, but we had no idea just how good until we stepped into the stadium.

Wow! Sometimes it is worth spending a little extra money (plus it was an early birthday present from A, so Woo!) Just look at this:


We were surrounded by both Japanese and Americans and still couldn't decided who to support but I have to say it was nice not to have a personal claim in the outcome because it just made everything exciting. Every chance at goal had your heart thumping, every tackle, every cross, every moment electric!

These Women were playing some amazing football and at that point I just didn't care who won, I wanted some entertainment and we certainly got it! Chants of USA and Japanese fans didn't disappoint and they were equally vocal as the match progressed.

This might sound weird but you almost forgot they were Women. It was just an awesome game of football and gender became irrelevant. I know a lot of people (mainly men) that would argue Women cannot play football or have no right to presume they can, but I'm telling you, this was about passion for a sport they love, skill, hard work and determination. And they could probably put a lot of male footballers to shame.
One thing you did notice was a lack of diving and really milking an injury (or non injury) for all it's worth. The Women don't do that, they just get on with it. There was only one yellow card in the whole match and about two instances of off-side called in the whole match. The Women are much better behaved. Of course!

I think football is about the game not about the gender you are when you play it, but then I know Women have campaigned long and hard to be taken seriously as footballers and I hope that with the exposure it's gotten at the Olympics, maybe it can become better received all around the world. Having a noo-nah instead of a willy should in no way dent your ability to kick a ball well, or in that respect throw a punch (hooray for equality in Women's boxing, not that I'm a huge fan of people punching each other in the face, but it is another step forward for equality for Women.) And I for one would be delighted to support a home nation side in Women's football. Actually I would love the GB Women to take on the GB men. And why not.

Okay I think I've made my thoughts known. Women rock and don't you forget it!

At full time it finished USA 2 Japan 1, though with a late surge I thought Japan might claw back a draw, which would have been awesome for us as we'd get extra time and possibly even penalties. He he. I want my money's worth. But sadly it wasn't to be and Japan finished a worthy second. Well done USA, as much as Japan probably had more chances, at the end of the day if you can't get it in the net you're gonna lose!

I have to say though, at times the football was as frustrating as watching an England men's match. You end up yelling and pointing and losing heart with the whole thing. 'Why are you going backwards?' 'Why is there no one in the box?' 'That was a terrible cross.' See, it really is equality for all. Ha ha.

Anyhoo, I'm rambling. Another amazing Olympic experience and not forgetting the medal ceremony. Canada had beaten France to the Bronze medal so the Canadian team were also there to pick up a medal. Just constructing the podium so it was large enough to house all those ladies took about half an hour. And the presentation itself was quite emotional. It really was a good job GB weren't playing, I would probably have been balling my eyes out.

What I found amusing was the fact that I'd been to all three countries of the medal winners. We sat and mused how we liked all of their countries. Good memories! And after that it was time to join the ants back to the ant hill (Wembley Park station). Took an hour and a half to get back but what a night. Amazing atmosphere, crowds, football, Women, goals and experience. I love Wembley and can't wait to go back!

Now, It's Saturday and it's sunny and I'm taking A for a walk up the O2 today. Whoop!

Have a great weekend. Come on GB, get some more medals. It's almost over.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A weekend of Olympic Bliss (and not a great deal of sleep.)

What a week of brilliance, disappointment, surprise, expectation

 Blog continued 7th August

Well, the title and that part sentence were all I managed to get out before the eye lids started to droop. Fell asleep watching Olympic coverage at about 9.45. Very unusual for me, especially on a Monday when I'm home alone. It's usually 2am and about five hours sleep.

I think our 16 hour day of Olympic madness on Saturday still hasn't quite managed to leave the system. Utter exhaustion, jubilation and a dream realised. My dad and I have been talking about a home games since I was knee height of a grasshopper (another fabulous northern expression) and to watch the athletics was our dream, so I guess we only half realised it. But what a day and what an experience! It was lovely to have my parents and A there.

It all started at 8am. We left the house to try and watch the women's triathlon in Hyde Park and we arrived home around 12.45am. So here's what happened in between:

Trying to see the swimming in the serpentine was particularly difficult due to obvious height issues, but there were a few genii there, that had thought to bring step ladders. Awesome! They must have been super local or had a car round the corner or something, but you can't knock the forward planning. Love it! There was one guy on a short two step ladder and then two guys crammed onto a six or seven rung ladder. If I could have climbed a tree without seriously injuring myself, I may have done that, but I settled for the ultimate tiptoes and straining the old neck and eventually I caught a glimpse of arms and figured it was either people swimming in the lake or a body in the lake. But as people were cheering I guessed the former.

Then it was a quick run to the main road to watch the cycling. As soon as the swimmers had passed there was this mass exodus, everyone having the same idea. Hundreds of people drifting over to the barriered roads to get a decent vantage point, which eventually we did after having to cross the road, or should I say be squeezed across as a group. Your feet almost didn't touch the ground. We were swept across on a wave of people but once everyone spread out there was more than enough room and it was only two or three people deep on our side, so we could see pretty well.

Then came the brief wait for the first of seven loops of the cycling. Yes, we would see them all seven times just by standing here. You can't knock these free events. (Plus it's much better than the road race cycling the week before when we waited for half an hour and they shot past in about 20 seconds, never to be seen again.)

Blog continued 8th August

It was great to see a complete assortment of flags from all over the world, the pavements awash with colour and national pride. It was also nice to see so many kids out. A lot of my kids have been palmed off on their Grandparents or whisked away on holiday rather than be in London for the Olympics. It seems wrong to me. They live in London. It's their city and instead of celebrating the wonder of having a home games, they're getting rid of the kids so they don't get caught up in what......? The quietest tube journeys ever? Dead streets? No planned station closures. An explosion of patriotism.? Dunno. Just seems a little harsh to me. The kids that have stayed are really getting into it and a few have even managed to go to events and watch. We're talking about it everyday and we even had our own mini-Olympics at school, which they loved.

Anyhoo, I digress..........Britain really does love it's underdogs and losers. This Ukraine lady was at the back of the Triathlon cycling and not just a bit behind, very close to being lapped, behind. But every time she came round she got a bigger cheer than the leaders. We really do stand by the phrase: It's not the winning it's the taking part that counts.

After the seventh and final loop of the cycling, we could see a couple of British girls in about 4th and 6th, really in contention for a medal. (We didn't get one but it must have been close. We didn't get to watch any of the running as we took the opportunity to skoot off to the Olympic Park. He he. Giddiness.)

And so, we hopped on the tube, again expecting it to be rammed, but no, not even the Central line to Stratford. There was plenty of breathing and maneuvering room. Practically unheard of! Two stops away and I'm getting very giddy! I'd painted my nails for the occasion and was wearing my new team GB t-shirt and amazing headband with two union jacks on it. My mum got one for her too. We looked awesome! Of course!

Approaching the park from the station at Stratford is just incredible. You feel the excitement just bounding around between everyone. The volunteers are there, lining the streets, pointing out flags and countries and speaking in various different languages, greeting you and genuinely making you smile. We'd expected long queues but including security it probably took us less than five minutes. Honestly, it's an organisational dream! If only Standstead could be that quick when you're trying to catch a plane. (I've always found that such an odd expression.....who could ever catch a plane? Superman? Maybe........)

And hats off to the military that had to give up valuable leave to ensure top security at the park and other venues. I salute you. Really top job and like I said, organisational dream! Everything was running like clock work. A well oiled machine.

When you first enter the park and see the stadium it is incredible. Yes you've seen it on the tele a million times but in the flesh it's even more impressive! And boy am I jealous that I won't actually be going in it. Lucky buggers with tickets. Urgh! But it's fine. I get to spend the entire day here and go and see hockey later. Whoop!

We decide to check out if there's any slim chance for another ticket to something happening today. We arrive at the box office and they say there's nothing except Orbit tickets, so we queue for about half an hour and get tickets for later in the day to go up the wonderful Orbit sculpture. A and I love to, well for choice of a better phrase, go up stuff. Every holiday or weekend away we always find something to climb up and the largest tower or viewing platform. We just have to.

Then it was off for an explore. Again London rocks! The facilities are great! Loads of toilets and really nice. I never had to queue once all day, not even later in the day when it was rammed. And for a woman that really is the test of good toilet planning. Women always have to queue. But no Ladies, not at Olympic Park Stratford. He he. There were tents everywhere selling a range of foods, to name but a few:

Indian, Pie and Mash, Fish and Chips, Deli stuff, Gourmet Sausages, Hog Roast, Cornish Pasties and even a champagne and Oyster bar. There were so many that you barely had to queue at these either. Amazing! And seating was everywhere. Little tables and chairs or benches with parasols. Awesome!

We skooted off after a well earned beverage, to find the big screen and generally have a mooch. We passed the water polo arena, various shops, the Gloriana boat thing that carried the flame and of course the BBC building. Following the swarms and passing many a volunteer doing a grand job, we found the big screen and settled down to watch a bit of rowing, athletics and eat our picnic, beautifully wrapped in union jack napkins, courtesy of mum. It's all in the details!

We managed to see Becky Adlington on the stage at Park Live, while she was being interviewed, the sun pounding down on us. Then it was time to work our way back to the Orbit for our tour. Whoop! We got a good glimpse of the Hockey venue, Basketball Arena (The Marshmallow) and Velodrome on our way back and also some choice outfits. My favourite had to be the Dutch. Those orange suits with matching ties were really great! I do love the Dutch. Their supporters are always so colourful and a little whack-a-doodle. Though I did see a few union jack one-sies and waistcoats knocking about. Team GB supporters were in their element.

Going up the orbit was well worth it. I know £15.00 is a lot, but when you're already there and you know there's no chance of you getting tickets for anything else, then you might as well just pay the extra and have an amazing view of the whole park and the whole of London. It really was fantastic and I know my parents really enjoyed it. We could see right in to the Stadium though it was a shame the morning athletics had finished and there was no one inside. Still, it gave me goose bumps. I want in there! And I ain't giving up until Sunday evening! I will keep trying.

We witnessed an amazing storm passing over London and saw it progressing towards us, passing over us and then clearing. For a cloud geek like me it was pretty awesome and we waited out the brief showers in the Observation deck of the orbit before climbing the 455 steps down. Really great and I love the sculpture itself, reminds me of the Helter Skelter I used to go on all the time in Blackpool when I was a kid. Fond memories!

It was refreshment time again and whilst waiting for a table I found the most amazing sight: A circumzenithal arc. A most rare and fantastical thing. Essentially a sun-bow. So I'm in awe, gushing and screaming and pointing, while everyone else is oblivious to the wonder above them. And I'm thinking, can this day get any better? I mean, seriously, I'm at the London 2012 Olympic Park and I'm surrounded by excitement and success and amazing skies and I'm completely happy! So I stare up for about five minutes, blinding myself whilst everyone else carries on regardless of the natural wonder above their very heads. I will be sending a photograph to The Cloud Appreciation Society, of which I am a proud member. I wonder if they'll put it on the website, that would be nice!

Anyhoo, cloud geekiness aside, we went back to the big screen to watch some tennis, Murray and Robson getting themselves into the final and securing at least a silver medal. Amazing day! Then it really does get better. A family my mum has looked after for years is at the Hockey the session before us and we meet up with them afterwards. It was weird to see them there but also great!

Then it was time to grab food and head for the Hockey arena. Hog Roast sandwiches all round. Nom nom. And not bad for £8.00. They were massive! I even couldn't finish mine. The temperature was starting to drop and extra layers were added. As we took our seats, our £20.00 seats that were amazing. We could see the whole pitch. Really, why would you want expensive tickets, you probably would see less as they'd be behind the goals. We had a great vantage point. Now I'd decided I was going to support the US in the first game but of course we ended up sat behind a group of New Zealand lads, so I quickly changed allegiance and we all cheered the Kiwi's to a 3-2 victory. They deserved it too, played bloody well.

There was a kid behind us that I would quite happily of thrown off the stand (Sorry, but he was like 8 or 9 and didn't stop talking and shouting out random stuff the entire time. Slightly annoying.) but I resisted. A was freezing and we all sat with my mum's union jack flag/scarf draped over our legs for extra warmth. The wind really picked up and we were shivering through most of the second game. Ahhhhh August, such a baltic time of year. Ha ha.

In the second match we decided to support Germany but they lost 3-1 to Argentina. Have to say most people were distracted through the second game as we could partially see the big screen of Park Live and were watching Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah win. The stadium would erupt and a few seconds later the Hockey Pitch would, but not for the hockey. Sorry ladies but GB was having the time of their life in that stadium and our hearts were in their with them. Still a fantastic night, but we were all glad when the match was over. Warmth and sleep was definitely needed.

The walk back through the park at night was amazing. I had to of course stop and take pictures of everything lit up nicely. Then we lost me dad, but thankfully it was the one time he had his phone on and he called us to find out what happened. We found him again by the aquatics centre and then made our way slowly back to the overground at Stratford which rather conveniently took is to Kentish Town West, a mere stone's throw from the flat.

I have to salute everything about the park. Even down the teams of people changing recycling bins, every two minutes and the toilet attendants, who you never saw but did a stellar job as there was always soap and towels and toilet roll. And the army and the security and the volunteers and just everything....worked! Not often you can say that in Britain, let alone London.

If you get chance to go, then do it! Experience the once in a lifetime home games and soak up that patriotism that only comes with major sporting competitions...or seems to only come with these big occasions. I'm always proud to be British, but it seems a lot of other people are too and that's great!

Come on GB, there's still a few days left! Sock it to 'em!

And now I have rambled long enough. Sorry it took so long to get this out. Monday I collapsed and Tuesday I wrote part of it and then met up with an old friend I hadn't seen in months. And today is A's birthday and I'm taking him out tonight for the theatre and a meal. Happy Birthday chuck!
And on that note, my lunch break is over.

Ciao for now.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What it takes for me to get out of work on time, twice!

Well, if you hadn't heard, it's the Olympics in London. Whoop! And what an excitement it is!

It is so exciting that I've actually managed to get out of work on time twice in one week. And the reason?
Team Gymnastics. On Monday the men's and Tuesday the women's. It was bag packed and out of that door at 4.00.

The children and staff didn't quite know what was going on. No twenty minutes of faffing. No, 'Oh I'll just do this, I'll just do that.' Just bam and out that door.

Honestly, these Olympics should come around more often. I get so many extra hours that I'm not stuck at work. And I get to see awesome stuff, though next week when I'm on lates it'll be rubbish as I'll miss all the day stuff. Ah well. Really, our school should have closed so I could sit at home and watch it all but that wasn't on the cards, sadly.

In fact, as I type this blog on my mini red (laptop) I have the rowing playing on the school computer. I think obsessed is the word and I am that!

It's addictive. Heavily addictive and on Monday in particular I sat and watched various sports until 11.30 at night (bear in mind I got home at 4.45 which incidentally is my new world record.). I just couldn't tear myself away.

The only thing that annoys me slightly is that they don't always update you on results, especially when they flit between sports. I was watching the Hockey and the women were doing really well and then they said, oh we're going to the men's football (which of course is more important than women's hockey....urgh!) and then they never told me the score. I had to go on the internet to find out that they actually won the match. Slightly annoying.

Well done to the men's 8's in rowing that just took a bronze. I love this whole watching the Olympics on my lunch break melarchy. Awesome!

Oh and then Tuesday I equaled my personal best getting home again at 4.45 to watch the women's team final in gymnastics. Jesus those women can move and stretch. I'm pretty sure the human body isn't meant to do half the things that they make them do. My body certainly isn't. I think I'll just stick to dreaming about tumbling and not actually ever do tumbling. I always think in another life I was some sort of athlete, shame it wasn't this life. Ha ha!

I feel bad at the moment. I'm becoming forgetful and late for people's birthdays. This has never really happened before. I was always renowned as the one who was early for things and was always really organised, but at the moment it seems like if I'm organised in one part of my life (writing), then everything else sort of crumbles.

I might have a good word count but the washing up's piled around the sink, the washing is overflowing the basket and the place looks a fookin' mess. There's just not enough time for everything, which is exactly why I need to be a writer full time, then my other time could be spent remembering people's brithdays and cleaning my house. Ha!

And let's not get started on me. Eek. The old personal appearance has definitely taken a down turn. Hair looks like straw because conditioning takes that extra few minutes that I just don't have. (melodramatic) I;ve lost contact with my half marathon training, so the old podge is making an unwelcome return and I'm just generally looking like I've fallen out of bed and tumbled in to work. Great!

I'm presuming this means that if I ever do become a fully fledged writer, I'll be the messiest, clumsiest, most forgetful, worst looking, scruffiest writer ever! But I'm sure I'll have a smile on my face!

In the last blog I forgot to rant uncontrollably about the newest Wuthering Heights film that was released last year. OH MY WORD! If you love this book do not watch this film. It is hideous. I managed about 15 minutes before I completely lost it and had to turn it off.

They made everything very sexual from the word go. Heathcliffe was black African instead of gypsy and they made him out like some sort of childhood stalker. The way it was filmed just made it seem like Heathcliffe was creeping around and lurking. It was horrible!

The older Heathcliffe was about 30 years too young and the young Cathy and Heathcliffe started off at about 15 instead of about 8 or 9. Urgh. If you are going to do an amazing book like Wuthering Heights and you want to keep it in the time and the era, then you can't be changing the race of the main character and change the whole premise of his relationship with Cathy.

Nasty nasty nasty! Please don't ever watch it! Please! Especially Char as I know it's your favourite book. Just don't do it to yourself. Hideous! And I didn't even manage to watch it all. It made me feel a bit sick actually. Emily Bronte was turning in her grave. I'm sure her ghost is currently haunting the director (who I don't actually know and I could find out but I don't want to. He doesn't deserve me checking out his page. He massacred one of the greatest stories of all times.)

Ahhhh, lunch break over. I guess I should go back in the classroom. Kids being terrible at the moment. Not listening, general terrorising of teachers and friends. It's just lovely really.

Okay and I'm home watching the Men's all round gymnastics final. Ha ha. (4.50)

I actually had fun with the kids. We had our own olympics today. Continuing for the rest of the week. We started with the standing jump then went onto throwing the bean bag into the basket and finished outside with sprint time trials. They had a great time and I tried to be a commentator as well. He he. Tomorrow we will continue with the tricycle race and relay races.

On my way home I started to think about Olympic events I would be good at. Here goes and watch out Rio, they may just be included:

20km walk whilst reading (preferably and extremely long and fantastic fantasy novel!) Not to be too specific.

10km walk with four heavy shopping bags

Marathon whilst singing Kate Bush songs.

Come on! I'd be the greatest Olympian on the face of the Earth for all eternity. Ha ha!

Anyhoo. Visitors for tea and staying over. A making pizza. Nom nom.
I'd better go and sort the table out.

Come on GB. 2 golds and a bronze so far today! Whoop! Come on Gymnasts and Swimmers later too!