My Shop (work in progress!)

Friday, 27 April 2007

The School (Hit and) Run

Teenagers are a total pain in the arse and seem to have no regard for their own safety. It doesn't seem to matter whether they're on foot or on a bike - but the menace is definitely worse on wheels.

As I am walking to work, so too are teenagers walking to school. They cross roads when the man is red and cross at the last possible moment before getting run over. If a motorist beeps their horn at them the kids often glare, shout abuse, make rude gestures and on one occasion I saw a lad kick a car (it was stationary at the time).

They do a similar thing on their bikes - they'll whizz round corners on the pavement nearly knocking over pedestrians and rush across roads without checking if anything's coming. There have been several times when I have seen lads flying round corners on their bikes, not looking to see what was coming and nearly crashed into a car that was approaching the junction.

It's a wonder more children don't die on the way to and from school because they behave so recklessly. There was recently an accident involving one of those mini moped things where two teenage lads collided with a school bus and were very seriously injured. But they just don't seem to care and they keep on leaping into the roads.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

The Karen Curse

I seem to have a blog curse, especially when it comes to Mutterings and Meanderings' blog (see my link list). There will be several comments clocked up, I will add my thoughts on the subject and then no one else will say anything. I kill off the blog. The blogging equivalent of tumbleweeds roll by.
Now I know why I get so few comments on my own blog - because everything I say is deathly dull.

Those lovely people at AQA

I sent off my lottery winning story to AQA to let them know that they'd aided me in winning a tenner.

Today I got an email back saying that they liked my story and did I have any photos to accompany it - such as of my new umbrella?

I had to email back and say that I'd try my best as I didn't have the internet at home, only at work. Vince will have to take a photo of me with said umbrella, I'll put it onto a floppy disk and send it to them tomorrow.

They said they would let me know in the next couple of days if I had won the competition!

WOO HOO! £100 is almost mine!

Monday, 23 April 2007


There is a wonderful text service called Any Question Answered (AQA) which kind of does what it says in the title. It is a bit pricey as it costs you £1 a pop, but if you're really flummoxed or are too lazy to look it up in an encyclopedia/online or like me, don't have the internet, it's a very good service. It's also quite fun to ask them daft stuff if you have a spare quid.

I decided to ask them what the most drawn lottery balls were. AQA said: 11, 17, 18, 21, 42 and 43.

They also said that the most overdue balls for a winning draw were: 2, 14, 20, 27, 36 and 41. They're quite good at giving you a little bit of extra information. They also wished me good luck.

I therefore entered two lines on Satuday and won £10 on the overdue numbers line! So I don't want to waste a quid so thank you AQA :) So far I have spent £4 of my winnings on a new umbrella as my old one had turned inside out and it was raining on my lunch break today.

Friday, 20 April 2007

Milk jug

As I have searched in vain for a 60s/70s milk jug in all the charity shops in Carlisle I have had to resort to ebay. I am currently the winning bidder on the above pictured milk jug. The auction ends just after 8pm on Monday 23rd.
All the milk jugs available in Carlisle are incredibly boring and plain or horrible floral patterns.
I ideally wanted a jug that had a blue/green pattern on but this one will do nicely.
So what do you think - hideous or cool retro?


OK so in my last post I had a picture of Xerxes in the film 300. In the film he is uber-camp. I thought he must be played by a cross-dressing basketball player as he towers over everyone in the film.

To my shock and disbelief, it is not a cross-dressing basketball player that plays him but an actor called Rodrigo Santoro, pictured above. I can't believe it's the same person. I mean the man pictured above is sexy and Xerxes was hysterically funny! Also Mr Santoro is only 6'2" and Gerard Butler who played King Leonidas is also 6'2" so they must have used some computer trickery to make him tower over Butler.

Thursday, 19 April 2007


Well Vince and I had been wanting to see it for a while so when a friend of mine from work asked if we wanted to go and see it with her and her boyfriend we jumped at the chance. Not only was it my birthday but it also meant that we didn't just sit and fester at home. As we only moved to Carlisle at the end of August we don't have a social network at all really so it's nice to finally have a couple of friends.

The film is based on Frank Miller's graphic novel and follows the Spartans' battle against the hordes of the King of Persia at the Battle of Thermopylae. It seems highly unlikely that 300 soldiers will win against millions but you do wonder how long they'll last.

It is very visually stunning - there is exaggerated use of colour and lighting probably to mimic the look of the original graphic novel. Sometimes the colour is almost bleached out of the shot with just a hint of red in people's lips and whatever their eye colour is to show that it is not in true black and white.

There is lots of gore - people have limbs and heads hacked off, blood sprays everywhere but it is not sickening because of the stylisation. It makes it seem quite cartoon-like, again reflecting the original graphic novel.

The only downfall with the film is the amount of cheese. The script is pretty bad but the worst thing is the narrator - he states the bloody obvious all the time, often repeating something that has only just been said by one of the characters.

Then there is Xerxes' hareem of freaks. Ephialtes was cast out by the Spartans at birth because he was deformed. He wants to fight with the Spartans but his deformities prevent him from being able to do so and King Leonidas casts him out once more. Ephialtes is a bit of a Gollum figure. He then decides to betray the Spartans as Xerxes offers him riches etc. etc. just for kneeling before him. Xerxes has a bit of a God complex you see. He then goes to the hareem of freaks and gets some kicks from other freaks.

Xerxes is camper than a row of tents and creates much of the cheese in the film but makes it an absolute hoot. He has weird cheek piercings.

Does he really look that scary to you - like he'd be able to command hoardes of countries and rule almost the whole world? Not if you ask me.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

The ticking of time

Yesterday was my 24th birthday. I took the day off work to spend with my mum and go shopping. We had lunch out and I spent almost all of my birthday money.

I had a makeover done by the woman on the Benefit stall in House of Fraser. This was purely accidental and not booked. We were just browsing and the woman said why browse when you can try it on, would you like a makeover. Yes please, I said, it's my birthday. So I got made up using so many products (much more than I would normally wear) which had I bought everything would have cost about £150 easily. My mum bought me a purple mascara which I had been looking for for ages. I looked really nice and glowing with lovely greeny purple smokey eyes.

I then hit New Look and bought linen trousers and skirt and an organic cotton cardigan. My mum (who really shouldn't have bought me any more things having bought me a mac and the mascara) got me a lovely green and white summer dress.

We were ratching around charity shops and bric a brac stalls in the market trying to find a nice 70s milk jug but no luck. I might try ebay... We had lunch in Carlisle Cathedral's "Prior's Kitchen" which does very nice home-cooked food using local produce as much as possible.

I then got a shirt in H & M which is a cross between a shirt and a basque in that it has hook and eye fastenings up the front. I tried in vain to get some light summery tops that I could wear for work but all of them were too low cut and booby.

Good old TK Maxx came up trumps as I bought YSL Nu for £25 which full price is £60. I cannot afford this and it smell so nice. I still have plenty left of the bottle Vince got me for Valentines Day last year (also from TK Maxx) but you have to grab these things while they're there.

Then in the evening I went to the cinema to see 300 (which I might do a separate blog about) with Vince, a friend from work and her boyfriend. A nice round off to the day.

The only downside to the day was that two buttons fell off the above mentioned mac and I hate sewing buttons. Plus it's disgusting as full price it was £69 - just because you buy something in the sale for £34.50 doesn't mean the buttons should fall off.

Friday, 13 April 2007

It must be love

Tomorrow is Vince and my three year anniversary. As a legal secretary that has spent some time working in the family department I know that some marriages don't last as long.

It just goes to show that even though I have toad hands, lumpy armpits, fart, am prone to bloating and a furfuraceous scalp there's still someone to love me (and as you can tell from my profile pick I'm not a hideous troll!) Maybe this is just because Vince also farts, burps, has smelly feet and snores.

I won't go into the all the sickly details but I just want to say that it is possible to find love online. Vince and I went about it in a very drawn-out way though as we met on a message board in May 1999 but didn't meet face-to-face until January 2004.

To celebrate we're going out for an Indian meal to try out our local one which looked very nice when we went in to book it. If the weather's nice we're hoping to go down the park to read in the afternoon.

Now I won't go on any longer and I'm not really sure why I blogged this but there you go. What a crap end to a romantic post. Ah well.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

The Hands of a Housewife

I went to see my doctor yesterday as I have a tendancy towards dry hands (requiring multiple applications of hand cream a day) and occasionally little pimples crop up in patches on my hands and feet, they dry out and then peel off, I don't have any for a month or two and then they come back. I seem to be particularly plagued at the moment so I thought I'd get it checked out.
It turns out this is the warning stages of eczema. Whilst my hands are not as red as in the picture above they do have the same lumpy texture - although mine is restricted to the palms of my hands and feet.
My doctor asked me what I did for a living - did I come into contact with chemicals, dyes or detergents? As a secretary I can't say that coming into such things is an occupational hazard. He advised me to get some soap flakes to wash my clothes in as apparently you only need to use a detergent if you are a mechanic for example and get all greasy. My dad was amazed that you could still get soap flakes as he hadn't seen them since he was a boy. I am sceptical as to whether this will work but I'm willing to try it as it is cheaper than detergent.
Doing some research on Wikipedia (where would we be without it?) I have discovered the specific type of eczema I have is called dyshydrosis. The fact that it is called housewife's eczema makes me laugh. I am a slut (meaning 3) when it comes to housework and when I do the washing up I wear rubber gloves as I know that makes my skin itch.
I also suffer from IBS and occasionally get sore, lumpy armpits - both of which are related apparently. It doesn't metion scalp conditions though as I also suffer from that too. At least I know what one of the problems is and I can now get on with tackling it.
Ooh what an attractive package I make: toad hands, lumpy armpits, farting, bloating, and a furfuraceous scalp!

Wednesday, 11 April 2007


Awful things. I don't tend to have major mood swings that make me want to hit Vince with a rolling pin. However, I do get more weepy.

The worst thing of all though is how it affects my body. Back ache, cramps (charmingly called dysmenorrhoea), severe headaches that only go away after taking powerful painkillers and sleeping (I was once off work all week with a menstrual headache that refused to go away). Sometimes the lower portion of my bottom/top of my thighs feel like I've been kicked by a donkey. My mum has a lovely expression about cramps: it feels like your womb is being pulled out with a crochet hook.

Last night was horrible as I had what I can only describe as toothache but in my legs from my hips down, the knee area being the most painful. How I longed for a bath. Thank god for hot wheat bags!

And if that isn't bad enough you get a slightly raised body temperature which means you get less sleep as you're too hot. Also, just to really piss you off, your sense of smell is heightened around this time - perfect for when having to deal with the blood-covered sanitary product of your choice. Apparently there are more choices of this than I thought.

Men - count yourself lucky you don't have to deal with all of this.

Haunted Toilet

Where I work is quite an old building. At present I am working in what would have been the basement or possibly the servants quarters when the building was a house. Sometimes when I go into one of the cubicles it sounds like one of the taps has started running all by itself (I am the only person in the toilets). But by the time I come out of the cubicle the tap has stopped running...

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Bloody Weird Blog Inspired Dream

A dream of epic proportions. Even though I was asleep I felt like it was going on for ages, like a proper film!

It started off where my mum, dad, friends Jenny and Deborah, their parents Sue and Phil, Vince and myself were all at a train station (that doesn't exist in reality) down the side of the car showroom in Rowrah near the railway bridge (opposite this hotel). We could see a view to a small hill Steel Brow (which is impossible because of houses and another hill in the way). It was at night and there were lots of lights in the sky created by flares and the occasional missile. We could also hear the distant sound of rapid gun fire.

Then it was day and we were sat waiting for a train but we weren't sure they were still running due to the war. Apparently the Russians had invaded totally unanounced and unprovoked. A train derailed but no one was hurt.

Then mum and dad, grandma and grandad, Vince and I were at Tower House and thinking that we would probably be safe there due to the isolation and should hold out there til things had quietened down. The problem was that we were only supposed to be there for the weekend and leave on the Monday. We couldn't get hold of the caretaker to ask whether it was ok to stay on. We had plenty of logs for the fires and I think there was a power cut but it was ok because we had the AGA. In the end we decided to leave and go back home.

Vince and I were at mum and dad's house. Dad got kidnapped but we managed to trick his captors into giving him back. My next door neighbour and "big brother" Stuart came round and said that as things were so bleak and we might all die he wanted to have sex with a woman to see what it was like (he's gay). I can't remember what I said to this but I don't remember a sex bit in my dream so I must have said no!

Then there was a bit where men were coming round with a high tech machine that rolled over cars a bit like a scanner but was in fact turning it into scrap metal and storing it in a way that somehow took up no space so the whole operation was very portable. The Mini got scrapped, dad managed to hide the Morgan in the garage by somehow securing it to the ceiling so when they put a detector in under the garage door they didn't locate it. They took parts of the Rover that were useful but didn't completely scrap it because it was crap! (Influenced by this blog of my mum's).

Then there was a bit where grandma sent me a text message (in reality she doesn't have a clue) showing me a picture of some gear and an explosive device that she and grandad were being made to wear. I think the invaders were using up the old folk in this way to get rid of them because they were "useless" in their eyes. She said in the text that she better go to the toilet before she got kitted up as I think they had to put the bomb up their bottoms! So she was still joking away as usual even though the enemy was trying to blow her up.

Then there was a seemingly unrelated bit where I was at the aforementioned Sue and Phil's house and they had some relatives staying. One of Jenny's cousins was quite severely disabled and you had to pick him up in the correct way otherwise you could break his spine. (Influenced by my comment in M&M's blog).

Then there was a bit where I (not sure who was accompanying me at this point) was in a shopping centre and we all had to evacuate as quickly as possible. Can't remember exactly what was happening but it was something to do with the Russian invasion. I needed to go to the toilet so went off to find them and water was flowing over the top of the bowls of pretty much all the toilets. However there was one where the water level hadn't quite reached the top - I couldn't be picky really as I needed to go and was in danger. Also at this point Dr Who was in the shopping centre. He wasn't really helping out in anyway like you'd imagine he would, he was just there trying to get out like the rest of us. But it was definitely Dr Who rather than being David Tenant. (Influenced by this blog by M&M).

That's all I remember(!!) - it didn't sem to come to any definite end. Sorry if I've bored you to tears reading this - your own dreams are very interesting but generally other people's dreams can be quite boring as you didn't have it. I needed to write it down though before I completely forgot it as I didn't have a chance before I came into work this morning.

Weird Observation 2

Yesterday morning, as we walked to work, Vince and I passed a very strange man. He looked very much like a tramp. He was carrying a long thin tree branch, almost a staff, and was stood staring at some teracotta coloured stone chippings outside a new flat conversion and talking to them.

We didn't hear what he was saying to them. Vince suggested that he was telling them what I nice colour they were. I thought he was possibly trying to open a portal but had forgotten the key word so was just going through the dictionary until he found it. He obviously did find it eventually because he wasn't there this morning.

Evil Thoughts

Tuesday was deadline day for all bills for March at work. This means that it's usually quite a stressful day as rather than being sensible and spreading all the bills throughout the month, most of the fee earners tend to bring you tapes and tapes of bills that all have to be done by 5pm on deadline day.

I had all my bills done at a reasonable time so it was quite amusing to see everyone rushing around manically. I was quite tempted to set off the fire alarm so everyone had to evacuate - everybody's stress levels would have gone up a notch and I'm sure some people might have even said that they weren't going out as they needed to get the bills done.

That really wasn't a nice thing for me to want to do.