Wednesday, 25 February 2009

My memory

..... or lack of it!

My forgetfullness is a concern (to me) and occasionally a situation will prompt me to mention it. Family, friends or work colleagues laugh and tell me it's 'normal'. I can accept their reassurance 99.9% of the time, but now and then that 1% 'niggle' is hard to ignore. 

I've been mislaying my car for years. It's so easy; enter a shop, buy a few items, leave and then panic because you suddenly have no idea where you've parked the car; is it to the left or right? I have to rewind, retrace my steps, even visualise parking, in the end always finding it. But I don't think it's funny, I'm not 70 or 80 years old by a long shot!

I'm damn sure struggling to remember the surnames of my work colleagues and the names of the children I've known for years can't be 'normal'? 

Today has been a busy day, so much had to be done. So much to remember, I actually felt frustrated (not a feeling I have very often). I was supposed to drop the post in the letterbox on my way home from work, but promptly forgot, having only been handed the envelopes about 15 minutes before. 

Also I offered a lift to a colleague and said I'd meet her in the staff room because I needed to speak to someone quickly before leaving. Instead I ended up getting into a conversation and left her sitting for 10 minutes. 

As I passed the door to leave I saw her there and suddenly remembered my offer. I couldn't apologise enough, she said she didn't mind, but I felt a fool. I was glad to get home. 

I have had other things, not work related, on my mind though so maybe that's why I've been extra forgetful today .... possibly.

Thankfully this 'condition' (that we all suffer from to varying degrees) isn't contagious, that's something I do remember!


Monday, 23 February 2009

Back to the grindstone

Going to make this short and sweet, it's past my bedtime! No more crawling up to bed at 'stupid o'clock' (!), half term is officially over. 

Back to work today. Chatted in the staff room about who went where over the break; Las Vegas, Dubai, Dublin, Spain got mentioned and lucky me got to stay in ....... sunny South London!

Hey ho, up the apple 'n' pears, there's no limit to where I can travel to in my dreams, I'm off to an island in the Indian Ocean tonight I think. 

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Good news - my car is back, I picked it up this afternoon. Bad news - I'm £214.43 out of pocket!! 

Serves me right really, it's never let me down in the four years I've had it, so I guess it finally decided to protest.  Apart from having an MOT each year the only attention I lavish on my car is the occasional valetting and topping up the oil and water. I'm ashamed to say my funds never stretched to an annual service. I got close a few times then other things took priority and that was that.

After taking my hard earned cash my mechanic left me with a little nugget of information and it was this; the petrol pump symbol on your fuel guage has a handle (or hose and nozzle) and whatever side it is on indicates what side your fuel cap is on. I never knew that, but it's worth knowing if you're driving a rented or new car.  

So, to be ready for it's next service in December, I've got a jam jar and labelled it 'Car Fund'. I have placed it right next to the jam jar labelled 'Christmas Fund' and will be putting £1 coins in each one at the end of every day. Bills take near enough all the money out of my bank account so this is the alternative, oh what a granny I have become!!


Wednesday, 18 February 2009


A moribund motor, that's what I have. I drove it to the car hospital this afternoon for an overnight stay, the diagnosis to be announced at some point tomorrow. Until then I shall nurse this sense of loss, for it is the first time we have ever been apart.

Up until the current car in my life I simply owned a succession of what can only be described as jalopys! The most I could afford for a car 'back in the day' was £100, which I would invariably borrow and then pay back over the following months. 

I did splash out on a red Golf once for £500 (which I borrowed from an old friend and paid him back £50 a month!). Unfortunately that died a terrible death one January morning, whilst on the school run, when it spontaneously combusted at the traffic lights. Burnt out car AND debt, fantastic!

Each machine would stay with me for a year, then, when it failed its MOT the process of borrowing began again. Alas the cash was never used to fix the car of the moment because the damn repair bill always came to more than what I'd bought the heap for in the first place! Time for the next banger. 

So now I'm thinking positive thoughts, 'it WILL only be minor repairs', 'I WILL not get a big bill', 'I WILL have my car back in no time', that sort of thing. 

Can I just say, having read this back; from the serious separation issues I'm clearly describing one might think I was talking about a brand new Mini or Audi. OR for those who aren't even a smidgeon materialistic that I might just be attaching a little too much importance to, what in reality is, just a hunk of metal (WHATEVER, I'll discuss it with my shrink on Monday). 

Actually folks I happen to be the proud owner of an 'S' reg Hyundai (that's a 1999 model) which is worth more to me than ten Mercedes convertibles.

And if you believe that..... I'm Jimmy Saville!!! 

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


I would love to go more often but never seem to get round to it. So I love weekends, when I don't have to work,  a good time for me to catch a film. Come Friday afternoon I slip into relax mode without any effort at all!

This weekend I was spoilt for choice when it came to picking something to watch. On the list happened to be 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona', a film I had no intention of seeing, even though I didn't have a clue about the story line. 

To be honest my decision was based purely on a dislike for its advertising on a billboard I happened to drive by one day. Nah, didn't look like my sort of film. Coupled with the fact that it was written and directed by Woody Allen (of whom I'm not a big fan),  I knew I'd be giving this one a miss.

But then, in  a moment of frivolousness I changed my mind and am glad I did because it was really good. The volatile relationship between Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardems characters (estranged husband and wife) was great acting.  When I found out that the male lead was actually the same actor who'd played the nasty, crazy baddie in 'No Country for Old Men' (another great film), I couldn't believe it. Isn't it amazing what a decent haircut can do for a guy?!

I was impressed that he'd played such a completely different character. A complete seducer, he had the look of Ollie Reed and George Clooney in this film,  attractive in a dangerous kind of way, definitely not a man to take home to your mother.

On the other hand a film I would love to see is Breakfast at Tiffanys.  Once upon a time I actually borrowed the DVD but never made time to watch it. I'm not into romantic films as a rule, but I think for this one I could definitely make an exception.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Kids these days.....

13 year old girls to be exact. Wanting to grow up too soon.

I see them going through the gate as I drop off my 13 year old daughter every day, done up to the nines', for school??? I must admit though I have given in to her wearing mascara, after her two older sisters assured me, 'It'll be ok mum', (but it doesn't make me happy!). 

I always watch her go through the gate, she always looks back and gives me a discreet wave. Once in a while I get this feeling of deep love as I watch her go, the thought, 'how could I live without her, I hope she gets home safe today', running through my head.

We visited a good friend of mine this afternoon. Our friendship began many years ago when our young teenage daughters first started primary school together. As we were drinking tea (and dunking digestives of course) my friend asked my daughter if she was going to 'this club night'. 

My relaxed pose ceased to be as I sat up and looked from one to the other and calmly repeated the question to my little one. She answered "I didn't tell you about it because I knew you'd say 'No'. " 

As more details emerged on the subject (including my visit to the 'Youthoria' website), I took a moment to congratulate her on the psychic powers she clearly possessed, because she was spot on with regards to what my response was going to be, ha!

Oh yes folks, Youthoria are offering 'The ultimate teen club experience', oh and  'a good night for all, ' is also guaranteed. Giving them '...the opportunity to experience the club scene' for those between the ages of 13 and 17. 

Hmmm, would anyone sane parent encourage their 13 year old daughter to go 'clubbing' with 16 and 17 year old boys?? Oh, but wait, they are only being offered free coke and lemonade all night and weapons, alcohol, drugs and chewing gum are mentioned on the prohibited items list, so that must makes it all ok then!!!!.

My 'gobsmackedness' increased as I clicked on the 'Photos' page. But the youtube video on the homepage did if for me, placed just underneath the headline 'UV Valentines Bubble Ball'. A veritable rave it was, the place was 'rammed', everybody waving their free glow sticks (to go with the free lollipops on offer I guess). 

At the very end of the 'Parents' page it said, "Any person who appears to be intoxicated through either alcohol or drugs will be refused entry with no refund". Well why in hells name didn't they say that on the homepage? Had I read that important piece of information first I definitely wouldn't have felt the need to investigate any further. 

I could have been packing my daughter off on her very first night club experience at the age of 13. I would be heard saying 'Go for it girl, forget the cinema and meeting up with friends at some fast food joint. Don't do window shopping, milkshakes and cookies, that's for kids'!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Monday, 2 February 2009

I'm not skiving!

No work, yay! 

My head called me at 720 this morning,  "stay at home, no school" she told me.  I smiled, resisted shouting 'YES!' and tried my best to sound disappointed. Any guesses where I was 2 seconds after that brief call? Yep, right back in my nice warm bed until 10ish!  

Another call came late afternoon, no school tomorrow either. Boy was I gutted, now I'll have to go for a lovely walk in the snow instead!

My girls are still at their dads after failing to make it home Sunday night because of the terrible weather. I'm missing them even though we've talked on the phone a lot. It's so frustrating knowing that they're less than a 20 minute drive away.  I'm not even sure if we'll see each other tommorrow  now that icy conditions are expected on top of the 8-10 inches of snow we've already received. 

So, my first day off was spent quietly, all by myself, with only the BBC TV news channel to keep me company.  I chose to stay in but frequently looked out of the window at all the white, white snow. Actually I enjoyed just pottering around in my t-shirt and track suit bottoms, heating full blast. My hair tied up (remains uncombed) and my teeth uncleaned, ha!!!!


Sunday, 1 February 2009

Quite a lot of white stuff and bloody beef!

Boy what a snow blizzard and a half on my way back from West London! The last leg of my journey includes a fairly steep hill, trying to drive up it was great fun (not). Everyone was driving at a snails pace, cars sliding all over the place. Coming down was even hairier, with the police arriving and keeping an eye on all traffic.  

I'd been staying with a handsome man for the weekend and earlier he took me out for Sunday lunch to a place called the North Pole on North Pole Road in White City. 

We both ordered the traditional roast beef and he asked if it would be possible for his to be cooked medium to well, the waitress said she'd enquire. Clearly she didn't bother because when our dinner did arrive she promptly served him beef that was medium/rare! Not a good start!

I was roughly half way through eating when he asked me if I was enjoying my meal. Knowing him well enough I didn't have to beat around the bush! 

The beef was sliced too thickly (making it difficult to cut) it was also rather chewy and didn't have much flavour either. The roast potatoes were crisp on the outside but mush on the inside and the cauliflower and broccoli were undercooked. 

Needless to say I couldn't finish my meal (which is highly unusual for me!). To be fair I did enjoy the carrots, the glaze made them quite sweet,  but still a push to give it 5/10 though! 

Under normal circumstances we would have complained, but on this occasion that wasn't possible. My friend had had an open invitation from the owner to visit anytime and also the manager, who was actually running the place this particular lunchtime, was such a nice guy we didn't have the heart.