Friday, June 30, 2006
So I've been sitting here making her a playlist and along the way playing things that took my fancy. I seem to have been having a bit of a Starsailor moment...Four To The Floor has been played at least twice. As has Shakira ft Wyclef's Hips Don't Lie and Nelly Furtado's Maneater at my daughters request.
I'm going to do a bit more downloading tonight. I'm going back to my days of thinking Italy was the music centre of the universe...I'm going to download the old Hi-nrg stuff I used to love in the 80's. Cheesy yes but good fun! Most of it came from the gay disco's of europe but as I was a bit young to frequent gay european discos I heard most of it at coasters roller disco or the ice rink!
Big Brother and european trashy music and a bottle of chilled wine. Fridays do not get any better than that!
The Jigsaw Man by Paul Britton
Paul is a forensic psychologist employed by the police to help them identify what they are looking for in a suspect. It's compelling reading as Paul writes about all the cases he's been involved in.
You need a good stomach though as the cases are written in full detail, autopsy reports, previous histories of the criminals etc.
It contains the James Bulger case in it as well as other high profile ones from Britain in the late 80's and 90's. It is amazing to see how with little information Paul can provide a picture of exactly who the police need to look for and the accuracy of his psychological profiles is unbelievable.
You'll get it on ebay cheap. I'd lend mine out but I'm funny with books and like to keep one's that I really like!
So have I heard from them yet? No (insert sounds of bell tolling, wind blowing etc like the quiet phase of an old western just before the big shoot out).
So the official time limit for a response from he whom I have issues with has now passed. In accordance with the lawyers instructions, letter number two has been sent and will have landed on the door mat on Wednesday morning (actually it won't have landed on the door mat cause it was recorded delivery so would have been signed for but you get my drift!). This one goes to those above he whom I have issues with.
And now we await a response to this letter. (insert the sound of a silent room with only the noise of a ticking grandfather clock to be heard) Will the time timit on this one pass without response? Will they bother to even read it? Do they know legally what they need to do now? Do I even care anymore?
Thursday, June 29, 2006
However up came their game against France. 1-1 in the last ten minutes or so and looking good for extra time. I was confident Spain could get the next goal and go on to win it. They didn't look that tired and were still doing some good passing of the ball. France had come back into it a bit were playing better than they have for most of the tournament so far but they were looking a more tired and, dare I say, old team.
Then comes Thierry Henry. Obstuction is as we all know a foul and Puyol did obstruct him but he did not hit him in the face. Henry though goes to ground clutching his face like he's been shot. This was a blatant attempt not only to obtain the free kick but to get Puyol sent off. The French team run round the ref like flies round shit complaing about Puyol. The ref goes with Henry and awards the kick and books Puyol. France score and the ball is burst for Spain who fall apart at the seams. So my team are out.
Now yes it maybe was a booking and a free kick but players can be and are frequently booked for play acting and Henry should have been for this. The ref then could have overturned his decision, booked Henry and awarded the kick to Spain.
If FIFA and UEFA are happy to use video footage after a match to then dish out punishments to offenders who kick, hit etc why the hell won't they use it to punish offenders of cheating? That way Henry and others like him would give it a miss. Henry should be punished and banned. France should be without his services for the game against Brazil. End of. Henry, a supposed high grade professional and great player. Henry, a cheat and lousy professional.
No wonder most of Europe hate the French!
Anyway roll on Germany/Argentina. This should be great. I am indifferent to who I want to win this one so can enjoy it as a neutral. I'm now a Portugal supporter (at least until Saturday night!). I reckon whoever wins the Germany/Argentina game might just go on to win this thing.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Why is it that we use the word ordinary to describe something bland but use the word extraordinary to describe something unusual? Surely if it's extraordinary it's just even more bland?
What is the difference between mistrust and distrust?
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I'll give you some examples. I can still dance on a table if the mood occurs and get away with it, I can still drink my vodka through a straw without looking too silly, I can still go clubbing, I can still get giggly with my mates.
I have to keep an eye on my skin for signs of ageing, I need to be a bit more careful about what I wear, I need to keep an eye out for grey hairs, I need to take more care of my diet.
I have to avoid certain items of clothing, I have to avoid certain make up styles, I have to avoid certain hair styles, I can't get away with staying out all night anymore without consequences!
You see I am past my teenage prime, my twenties and the freedom that went with them are behind me and I am now in my fourth decade which can be a bit of a minefield for women. However, I still feel about 25 and my head is young. My skin isn't letting me down yet and it's more prone to the odd teenage like spot than wrinkles! I've yet to find my first grey hair upstairs or down I might add!
I love shopping and I love to see what's on the rails. There's more things in shops that I couldn't buy now as I'd never get away with wearing them but I still like to look. I do though still shop in most of the same stores I did as a 19 year old, not quite of the age where scholl sandals appeal or BHS, Happit and Mackays are my shopping heavens. I'm just more careful with what I spend money on. As I wandered round some stores last week I saw loads of lovely stuff. I'm loving what everyones wearing just now. It's very 80's, very retro.
However, while I've indulged just a little by adding a few tops, shoes, baggy 3/4 jeans and accessories I'm keeping away from the rest of it. My days of wearing footless tights, leggings, shorts, jumpsuits, puffballs, ra-ra's and tiny denim shorts are behind me now. I'm also going to give the wearing of plastic shoes (jellybeans) a miss...I can't believe they've brought them back out! I have some great memories of when my wardrobe contained things like those above as well as over the knee socks, braces, lycra skirts, dolly shoes, shiny belts, over sized shirts, dungarees, tartan jeans (what were they all about), flourescent fingerless gloves, Frankie t-shirts and Go Go t-shirts, bat wing tops, belly tops and jeans so tight I had to put talc on my legs to get into them! That was my 80's wardbrobe and there in lies the key to this. I've been there and done that. This time round for me it's definitely more Madonna's jeans, flats and striped top combo from Papa Don't Preach than her lacy footless tights, short dress Like A Virgin days.
I lived through the 80's and wore the clothes. I did the secretary look with the skin tight pencil skirt, seamed tights, stilettos, shiny belt and shirt (at my 13th birthday party...13 and wearing seamed black tights and 3 inch stillettos no wonder my old Dad used to just shake his head!) I did the Wham! chick look in my white shorts and fingerless gloves, I did the Human League look with tons of black eyeliner, I did shoulder pads a la Dynasty, I did coloured tights and leather skirts. I had big hair and used enough so much hairspray I'm probably responsible for the ozone hole! I wore bright eyeshadow and shimmery lipsticks. I had a scary collection of coloured mascaras and eye liners.
Now I have a daughter nearing 10. Her eyes light up when she see's the colours and styles in the shops. She want's glittery things, she wants fingerless gloves and beads, she wants coloured eyeshadow, she wants belts and dungaree's and jumpsuits and footless tights. She wants all the same things as I did at the same age and no doubt she'll end up getting her way and her wardrobe will soon be similar to mine was way back when.
I only hope this trend for retro doesn't hit the 90's phase anytime soon. They may say the 80's was a decade of dodginess but the 90's were shocking and yes I wore it all then as well, tracksuits, medallions with $ signs, lycra all over, cat suits uugghh!
So if you're young enough to get away with the full look just now then go for it. It's fun fashion and a good time to experiment. One word of caution though, for all I have fond memories of doing it first time round and I thought I looked the bee's knee's I still recoil in horror when I look back at old photo's!
Saturday, June 24, 2006
However, suffice to say he will be in possession of said letter now and as yet there's been no response.
You'll have gathered it's against an employer. Here's what I can tell you so far...
- Employer is normally very good at being flexible with shifts when someone needs time off. You can get a shift off to paint your toenails.
- I needed some time off as Better Half was doing late back shifts.
- I told Boss I would need a later start one week and there was one week I wouldn't be able to get in at all.
- Boss man didn't say no. In fact he asked me to work extra hours and let me go early the night I told him.
- Boss man didn't ask me to swap shifts or to find cover for my absence.
- I noticed he still had me down for full shifts the next day and so I left him a note to remind him.
- Boss did not call me when he received the note to say I couldn't have time off.
- The day after my shift off I find out he has gone apeshit because I didn't go into work.
- He alledgedly claimed he knew nothing about it as far as I've been told.
- This is bullshit.
- Boss didn't call me to ask where I was the night I was off. He didn't call me anytime after to ask what was going on.
- He has now dropped me off the staff list and taken my shifts off me.
- He has not returned any of my calls.
- He is refusing point blank to speak to me about it.
- I was told by a colleague that when he was asked when I'm coming back he said I wasn't.
- The colleague thought I had left of my own accord.
- I haven't.
- I am assuming then that he has paid me off.
- But I don't know for sure because he won't speak to me!
It is about right and wrong. Too many people have been shafted while working there. It's about time it stopped and they realised they have responsibilities as employers. There are good barmaids sitting at home now who would and could have still been employed there if not for issues. If my kicking off means that Ross gets a full break without hassle on a Tuesday night or they sort out the temperature behind the bar or the part timers finally get their contracts then job done.
The thing I'll miss most is the bit of banter and (some of) the punters. I've enjoyed my time there and it'll take a bit of getting used to not going in on a weekend but c'est la vie.
A've jist been watchin' the fitba on tele, the game between Mexico an Argentina an a've goat tae confess ah feel jist a wee bit sorry fur Mexico. Ah wis kindae hopin they'd score again an take it tae penalties. Ah like tae watch Argentina but ah kindae like the seein the underdog dae well an aw.
Still the mair teams that stay in that are good the better. Then wur mair likely tae see somebody hump the bloody English. Ah'll be cheering oan Ecuador the morrin. If England win they'll meet wi' either Portugal or Holland. Ah'm no a big fan o Holland so I'll be cheering fur Portugal tae get through. I seem tae huv a thing for the latin lot!
Ah reckon there's a shock still tae come in these second roond games. Ah'm still backin' Spain but if they git through this roond against France they'll need tae be oan top form as they're likely tae meet Brazil (ye cannae see Ghana gettin a result against them) in the quarters.
Ah'm also keepin a wee eye oan Ukraine an aw. Dinnae ask me why, a've jist developed a wee soft spot fur them.
How hard is it to write in Scots slang? Irvine Welsh's heid must ay been birlin'!
I wish I hadn't. Seriously every other one has some person writing like they are american teen queens or the poor British equivalent of. We all throw a bit of American and a bit of initation now and then but honest to god they all sounded like mini Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Vikki Pollard/Lauren (Catherine Tate)/Missy Elliots.
In order to prove how nippy it is, I've colaborated a little bit of a few of them and stuck them together...
"So, like, my friend called yesterday but I was like pissed cause she hasn’t called in, like, a week cause she has way serious man trouble and has, like, a major attitude on. It’s like so not my fault but I am so obviously getting attitude as well. So she says “Hi what’s up?” and we like chat for a while but I’m a bit like whatever and she notices and she’s like “Is there something up?” and I’m like “Em yes” and so I tell her I think she’s, like, got issues and she’s like “Oh your being a loser, I so don’t have issues” and I’m like “Whatever” and she tells me that her man said he wanted time to chill with his homies and he needs more time hanging with them.
She thinks though that he’s, like, just saying it because he’s wanting to get with some hoochie mama behind her back. He is like a major loser anyway who thinks he’s like a total playa when like he’s so not innit. So I said to her she should like just front him up and see if he’ll fess up to it. She said she’s going to see him and like check on it because she wants to be sorted again. I’m like totally whacked why she like’s him. He's such a grade A asshole but you know she does so whateva! I would so tell him to do one likes.
So anyway she’s like called him and he’s going to come get her in his ride and then take her to his crib so they can try and like clear things up. Please!! he will like so lie to her and she will like so fall for it. Whatever it’s up to her I ain’t bovvered innit."
Fucking irritating ain't it? So here's the guidelines as I see it..
- If you are over 19 you are way too old to use half the vocabulary above unless in speech and you are ripping the piss out of your 9 year old. This is because it is generally 9 year olds that speak like that.
- If you are British you should just stop because you'll only sound like a twat anyway.
- Use of the word Innit either in speech or in writing should be reserved for the English in the same way as they should never use Aye.
- Using words like crib or ride when you are British is just dodgy.
- Using them when you're white and British is even more dodgy and does not in any way make you cool.
- Repetitive use of the word whatever when used in it's american slang text will only suceed in making you sound like trailer trash. It is though possible to use the word in a scottish accent and sound quite angry.
- Punctuating sentences with the word like is so like irritating.
- Use of words like playa, homie, whateva should be reserved for people who can actually get away with using them. These people are generally black American teens or major rap artists. Not white, teenage, vikki pollard lookalikes in tracksuits with the socks tucked into the leg. Using them will not make you a black american teen nor a gangsta rapper.
- Am I bovvered? is a fun catchphrase from a major tv show. It is humorous when used in this context. It is not humorous when it's written down.
- Don't even go there with phrases like "that's waaayy cool!" or "totally awesome!". It's just wrong.
Personally I think I'll take it to the other extreme and start writing in my mother tongue...efter aw writin' in Scot's slang didnae dae Irvine Welsh any herm ay no?
Friday, June 23, 2006
The last day of this term is everyone's favourite. There's normally many more parents than ususal there to pick up kids especially those with kids in P7 who are leaving Primary School for High School. There's often a few tears and the P7's all come out carrying there school sweaters which they've had signed by as many pupils, classmates and teachers as possible.
The school have a "buddy" system where the new P1 kids get assigned a kid from P7 to look after them in their first year. Jake had a great buddy called Mark who has looked out for him all year, shown him the ropes, swapped sandwiches with him at lunch, bought him things, helped him with his reading and basically kept the wee man under his wing all year. Mark is off to High School next term and Jake will miss having him about. We went out yesterday and got him a gift to say thanks for all he's done for Jake. Even today though Mark had thought of Jake and brought him in some sweets to say goodbye. Jake was more excited that Mark asked him to sign his sweater though! He's a real credit to his folks that boy and if he keeps his good attitude he's going to turn out to be a lovely man.
In addition to a gift for Mark it's become something of a tradition for the kids to take in something for the teachers. So it was 2 boxes of chocs, 2 wee "best teacher" teddies and 2 thank you cards for that. Chloe's teacher is leaving this year as she was undertaking her probabtion year at the school and is now moving onto her first proper teaching role. It's a pity she couldn't have stayed. She's proper new school teaching with lots of interactive stuff, visits and projects to get them intrested. Chloe has been more enthusiastic about school this year than ever before and I reckon a big part fo that is down to her teacher. She'll be asset wherever she ends up and I think Chloe was a bit sad to see her go (I'm guessing there were tears but she's not said yet!).
Jake's getting a probationer next year, a female who's name escapes me now, which will be fun for her. A class of twenty five 4, 5 & 6 year old's to contend with! Talk about going in at the deep end!
So I've now got 60 days ahead of me in which I need to keep the amusement levels of my two treasures at such a height as to keep me sane and stop them from nagging me about being bored. I've been working on this already. Over the next 7.5 weeks we will be at the beach, hitting every country park this side of the border, going to the museums, doing the festival, visiting relations in other towns and I am sure at some point we will be hauling ass across the border and heading to Blackpool...5 year old has already asked today if we can go!
Right now I've sent them looking for frogs in the burn...should keep them amused until tea time!
I shouldn't be surprised, after all this is Scotland and we had some sunshine the week before last!
Mind you I'm always either boiling hot or freezing cold anyway...there's no happy medium with me! That's the beauty of having a body thermostat which is goosed. I'm the numptie you'll see out with no jacket when the frost is on the ground because my body is telling me I'm hot while in June you'll find me in bed with socks on because my body says I'm cold! Who needs a working metabolism anyway?
Thursday, June 22, 2006
With all this in mind then I have started the ball rolling with regard to the person who has been ripping my knitting for long enough.
All I can say is that this involves an employer and their lack of any knowledge as to how to employ. It all began innocently enough but after pissing me off for long enough I decided to check the legal angle as to the position I found myself in just to satisfy my own curiosity and discovered that my employer has broken some fundamental legal rules, which is as I suspected anyway. The thing is though that it's not just me that they're breaking rules with. Others are beign shafted in a similar way. Here's a wee example of some of the legal requirements (rules) they have/are breaking...
- Failing to adhere to stautory laws regarding the entitlement of adult workers to a rest break during working hours. " You are entitled to a rest break where your daily working time is more than six hours. The rest break will be for an uninterrupted period of not less than 20 minutes and you will be entitled to spend that break away from your work station. Guidelines state that the break should be taken during the six hour period, (not at the beginning or end of it)"
- Failing to provide a written statement of terms. "The law states that certain express terms must be put in writing and handed to the employee in the form of a written statement within eight weeks of starting work and certainly where requested by an employee"
- Failing to support the rights of those with dependants. "The Employmenrt Rights Act entitles all employees to dependents leave, specifically, to reasonable time off work to help or look after a dependant in certain circumstances. This includes for the provision of emergency childcare"
- Failing to follow a standard diciplinary procedure. "Guidelines established over the years have emphasised the need for employers to operate fair procedures and compliance with the ACAS code of practice on discipline and grievance. Each employer should have a minimum grievance and discipline policy and this must be used before any form of dismissal can take place unless done on reason of gross misconduct (gross misconduct reasons for dismissals must be written and available to employees)"
So today the first step on what could be a long, bumpy road was taken. The letter is in the post and the outcome is awaited. The contents of that outcome will determine what happens next.
Not so yesterday at my interview. It lasted all of 25 minutes and basically consisted of them telling me all the negative points of the job (blood, urine, puke and washing your hands 70 times a day) and asking very little. In fact I was asked only 2 direct questions one of which was "Do you think you'd like to work here?" not "Why do you think you'd like to work here?".
Now fair enough you may be thinking "seems like it was a breeze then" but it is remarkably difficult to sell yourself to someone when they don't really give you the opportunity to do so! As someone who has interviewed staff myself I was a bit surprised by the whole thing. 15 minutes spent telling me how hard and stressful and tiring the job was, 5 minutes going over the hours, holiday entitlement and training opportunites and 10 minutes chatting about funny things kids do and how important it is to make sure you take your tea breaks! Nothing about my skills, experience or previous employment. Nothing about why I wanted the job or what sort of person they were looking for!
Bizarre. However, we'll wait and see but I have a feeling that I shouldn't hold my breath!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
There was I thinking I'd have time to prepare myself. Time to think of answers to the "Can you tell us of a situation when...?" questions they will no doubt ask. Time to re-look at the job description. Time to find the right outfit to wear. No such luxury it seems. So it's sort it all out now to be ready for tomorrow morning.
I've started already by jumping in the car and heading for the nearest retail park to find something appropriate to wear. I saved time by missing out the whole process of raking through my wardrobe only to decide I had nothing suitable in it! Of course it was a bit fatal heading to the shops because I did not need that bright green top, nor the pink stripey one, or indeed the 2 hairbands I bought and yes I will confess I didn't need the navy blue ballet shoes (didn't you just know there would be shoes in there somewhere?) either but what the hell! I did though get a nice formal top and trousers for the interview so it was all good in the end!
I'll sit and look through the application pack later on and get my head sorted. Obviously I'll need to work this around becoming a Swedish sympathiser between 8pm and 10pm tonight!
I'm both looking forward to it and nervous at the same time. It's been ages since I had a job interview usually I can blag my way through them because in general I have stayed in the same field of work, this one though is for a role in a totally different field. This one is for a position in a field I've always fancied working in but never did anything about....until now obviously! It would be a big change to what I'm used to. It would mean shift work and a uniform as opposed to part time mornings and office wear. It would mean working with new born babies instead of grumbling adults. It would mean taking orders from consultants instead of sexually repressed middle aged women with no man and no kids. It would mean leaving my confort zone.
Sounds like a plan.
Monday, June 19, 2006
I'm not confrontational and if my opening my gob to say what's on my mind will cause hurt to someone else I'll do my best to bite my tongue and let it go. However, do not read from that that I am in any way a soft touch. Far from it. There are occasions were I need to bare my fangs and inject some poison and I will if it's called for.
At this moment in time there is one person who has irritated me to the point that I can feel my fangs wanting to come forth (and it's not the anonymous muppet who commented on my last post!). I have played nice for too long where this excuse for a person is concerned and have decided to proceed down a road I hoped I wouldn't have to but then as I said I am not a soft touch and there's only so many times I can bite my tongue and let it go. This person (and I suspect a few others) are going to find out that this normally laid back and placid woman can turn into a prize bitch in a matter of seconds when riled. One way or another I will have the last laugh with this one.
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Today is Sunday. Scottish "let's go and view a house" day. The day when folk general go looking at property. Funnily enough Geoff has just come in from the back garden and told me there are people of a certain persuasion looking at next door.
Which one of you buggers paid 'em to do it?? Own up!
I've got to take action. I'm away to do my best Ned impressions (not too difficult with Glasweigan blood in my veins!) and turn the Bose Soundock up to full, something I've been to scared to do before cause it's bloody loud way before you get to full volume. There's no time to waste. Gotta do it before they leave.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
There are 4 of us in my wee circle in my wee hoose and there are 4 Dad's to be considered which is nice and symetrical. So for each of them a few words...
First up we'll do Frankie. Frankie or Francis to give him his full name is Geoff's Dad. He has long since shuffled off this mortal coil. He died of heart failure in 1972 in his forties. Geoff was only 9. His memories of Frankie are limited but he still recalls things Frankie did with him such as when he left for work he'd stick Geoff on the back of his scooter (proper one, not push by foot!) and give him a ride to the end of the street before lifting him off and saying goodbye for the day. When Jake appeared, who would have been Frankie's first grandchild, Geoff felt that sadness that you get when you wish your Dad could have been here to see something. We remembered him by adding Francis in as one of the wee man's middle names. We have a few bits and pieces which belonged to Frankie and we'll pass them on to Jake when he's older and we'll tell him what we know about his Grandad he never got to meet. Frankie must have been a special guy for Geoff's Mum Isa never remarried or ever had another man in her life. Frankie was her true love till the day she died. There can be no card or present for Frankie but he will be thought about on Sunday and his name will be mentioned by us.
Next up is Stephen. My Ex. Chloe's biological Dad. What can we say about him as a Father? Well for the 2 years he lived with Chloe he was more or less a model Dad. She was his pride and joy and he wouldn't even go to the toilet without her. She was his best friend. Sadly though things changed and in the last 6 years she has seen less and less of him. She has seen him twice in the last year. He lives about 15 minutes away and his Mum lives in the same building as mine. He never calls her, there's no christmas or birthday presents and he couldn't tell you how she does at school. He pays no child support and provides nothing for her. It shouldn't come as a surprise. He has another daughter who will be 18 in July who he's rarely seen since she was 8. She lives 10 minutes from him. He lets Chloe down time and time again and I'm caught in the middle. I wish he'd vanish out of our lives for good but as soon as he re-appears Chloe wants to see him and I get stuck between trying to protect her and keeping her happy. Invariably I know seeing him will make her happy for about 3 hours, which is as long as he'll spend with her, and then she'll be sad again when he fails to ring for months on end. His parenting skills leave a lot to be desired. He has a beautiful, bright, lively, funny daughter and he can't be arsed. So there's no card heading his way. He doesn't deserve his Daughters love or respect.
Now we have Geoff. Jake's biological Dad and Chloe's non-biological Dad which makes him sound like a soap powder! A latecomer to parenthood, Geoff was 38 when Jake appeared. Kids didn't figure in LBJ (life before Jenny), his wife didn't want any. Then he meets me and within 6 weeks we're staring at parenthood! Geoff is a great Dad. He disciplines, spends time with them, changed the nappies, cleans the puke, mends the bumps and scrapes, provides for them, talks to them, knows their favourite foods, tv programmes and colours. He goes to school meetings, does the homework and encourages them. He makes them laugh, he mends the bikes, he cleans their rooms, he irons their clothes. He teaches them things and he shows them things. He is everything a Dad should be. He took Chloe under his wing from day one, never making a difference between her and Jake. She is his little girl and he will always tell anyone he has 2 kids. Chloe calls him Dad and has done since she was 3 years old. They are so close that Chloe wants him to adpot her and her name changed. So for him, there will be cards, presents and love this Father's Day because he deserves it.
Then there's Sam. Father Shaw. My Dad. He's been gone for 2 years this July. He was a funny, loveable, silly, crazy, handsome man. A man who made friends with anyone. He was a great Dad. He has left us a great legacy. Many happy memories filled with laughter. Things we shared with him and will never forget. Times he did or said something to make us laugh. Times he rescued us from some drama or another in his own funny way (usually with help of a credit card!). He has also taught us some great things...how to stand up for ourselves, how no-one is better than we are, to be proud and independent, to always see the funny side of things, to know right from wrong, to have manners, to show respect where it is deserved and contempt where it is deserved. He also taught us the offside rule, how to arm wrestle, how to read the odd's at the bookies and pick the right horse, how to polish shoes, how to save money for a rainy day, the words to football songs, how to host a good party and many a word of rhyming slang which he'd make up as he went along!! Most of all he taught us the meaning of unconditional love. So tomorrow he will get a kiss blown up to heaven and thoughts of him will be in my head and he will get a visit to his resting place from his daughters to let him know he's still loved and remembered for the 30 or so years he put in to being our Dad.
Dad's are special people, Dad is a word that means more than just the man who made you. 3 out of 4 in our house have made the grade. It's a good result!
To all the Dad's whether your kids are young or old, whether you're here in body or in memory...Happy Father's Day.
I was considering buying piles of Kit Kat's to get my hands on that golden ticket just so I could go in the house and slap her right up the dish.
Seconds before she gets booted out she throws a glass of water in Susie's face causing a big row. Grace goes out to be grilled by Davina...who was way too soft on her and leaves the housemates all arguing. Lisa threw a bike at Aislyene who was mightily pissed of at Grace's behaviour as it all kicked off. Aislyene didn't retaliate apparently. I would have. I would have picked up Lisa and threw her right over the fucking fence.
People...do the right thing. Next week vote the little acidic troll that is Lisa out on her arse as well please. I have a feeling she'll be up for eviction.
Pete to win by miles and miles.
Friday, June 16, 2006
So 45 minutes later she has deposited her kids with Geoff at my house and she and I are in the casualty dept of St John's. My second visit in a fortnight. She gets booked in, the triage nurse has a look and it's decided her PIP J (what?? answers on a postcard please) is in need of attention by a Doc. So we wait for an hour and eventually we're ushered through to a cubicle where the Doc appears to see to the injured digit. It must be said it looks a bit dodgy. The cut itself looks quite small but it seems very deep and her knuckle is huge!
The Doc asks how she did it and she explains about the corned beef. I'm in hysterics because it sounds so silly. He seems a bit concerned about the state of it and begins poking and prodding to get a better look. Wee Sis Gill sounds like Jackie Chan giving it "aahhh" and "ooohhh" repeatedly while the Doc does his stuff. I am again in hysterics. The Doc finally stops, Gill is red in the face with the effort of restraining herself from decking him for causing her pain and I'm red in the face from laughing so hard.
The Doc decides it needs stitches and tells Sis he's going to need to clean it out and trim the wound before he can stitch it. To do this he is going to give her a "ring block" which sounded kind of painful and a bit naughty! Anyway a few minutes later the Doc has shifted Sis onto a trolley and has returned back to the cubicle with a steel table full of the necessary bits and pieces to fix Gill's finger. A nurse appears and asks if Gill would mind if she watched the procedure as she's keen to see how it's done. No problem says my Sis. The nurse tells her it looks nasty and asks how she did it. Cue the corned beef story again and my laughter again.
Doc has been doing his prep stuff in the background and is now ready to go. He is holding a large syringe in his hand. "Are you going to inject me?" says Gill in a slighty raised voice holding just a hint of panic. "Yes" says the Doc. "In my hand?" says Gill in a voice now as high with panic as someone who's just sucked the helium out the party balloon. "Yes" says the Doc. He goes on to explain that this is the ring block and it will numb all the nerves in the hand and finger to stop her feeling anything while he cleans and stitches it up again. Gill has a look of utter panic. I'm giggling so hard by sides ache. The Doc begins sticking the needle in at the base of her finger muttering the immortal words "This might sting a little". It obviously stings more than a little as Wee Sis is making a series of wierd noises, is curling her toes up and her good hand is waving about the place. I am wiping the tears brought by my giggles away. Christ knows whats come over me but I am in hysterics. Three or four jags later and the Doc is talking to the nurse in a language only they understand the outcome of which is that he then decides to stick a bit of the anaesthetic into the actual wound itself. A few screams later from Gill and the job's a good 'un. I'm watching the events and can see that blood is pouring out the holes where the needle has been. It's looking a bit messy. Doc begins cleaning it up. Gill's face is priceless as she can't feel it properly but knows what he's doing and it's freaking her out a bit. He then tops her off by telling her because the wound is 22 hours old it's tricky to stitch it because it probably won't heal so his best option is to cut away some of the wound to make it larger and then close it up using nice fresh edges. The look of disgust mixed with terror that sweeps across Gill's already creased face is a classic, but funnily enough I'm not in hysterics anymore. I'm still a bit giggly but the hysteria has gone and is rapidly being replaced with a queasy feeling.
The Doc lifts the flap of skin up a little to begin his clean up. Blood begins pouring out and it's dripping of Gill's hand. The Doc reaches for his scissors and begins doing a bit of chopping. Gill's trying not to look and so am I but my eyes keep looking anyway and I've realised that I'm breathing quite deeply and it dawns on me that I am feeling very bloody sick. The Doc gets his needle out and starts stitching the wound back up. Blood is still running out of it and the holes around it and it's all a bit yuck. Gill is going kind of white and red in flushes and I can feel my colour draining and I'm feeling very nauseous and I'm eyeing up the sick bowls which are stacked on the shelf above Gill's head wondering if it look strange if I grabbed one! Finally we're done and the dressing goes on and it's all good.
The Doc tells Gill to come back in 10 days to get her stitches out. Gill though will be in sunny Spain in 10 days. The Doc then advises her to come back the day she returns home and reminds her not to get the wound wet at all, spelling out to her in slow, clear english that that means no swimming!
So stitches in place, spare dressings in hand we head back for the car. Both of us feeling ill and dizzy. I'm pleased when Gill announces that when she did it she was hanging over the sink as she thought she was going to pass out. She has slagged me for years for saying in slight hysteria to my Dad once that I thought I was going to pass out after Gill stabbed me in the hand with a pair of hairdressing scissors. She did stab me. She says I jumped on her and she was holding the scissors! There was blood running down my arm and Gill shouted for my Dad. He was taking me to the bathroom to fix it up and I was shouting "oh god I'm going to pass out" "oh Dad I don't feel well"...moments later I was out cold! I was 19 and never allowed to live it down that I'd fainted over a cut hand! Nice to see my Sis was teetering on the brink herself!
So she's fine. She's got to keep an eye on it in case she has damaged the actual joint. They won't know until the swelling goes down and they can see how well she can bend it. The Doc is hoping the reason she can't bend it now is just because it is so swollen...I've told her she'll probably lose her finger! Well that's what Dad would have told her!
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Conditions were perfect today for the annual village school sports day games. As usual the event took place on the school field with all classes from p7 to nursery taking part. Spectators included the normal array of parents and grandparents complete with camera's and camcorders to capture the action. Many of the male spectators had taken the day off work to attend the event and much was mentioned about how they may have prefered to be at home watching World Cup football.
In line with the nice weather the competitors were without their tracksuit bottoms for the morning's activities but many took the precaution of bringing out their tracksuit tops in order to keep their muscles warmed up during breaks. Aged between 4 and 12 the athletes were sporting a variety of sponsors on their clothing this year. There seemed to be a larger number than usual sporting Addidas clothing, however, Next still seemed to be the sponsor of choice particularly amongst the female contingent. They also proved popular in footwear but there was an increase in the numbers wearing K Swiss on their feet.
P7 girls kicked off the days with their flat race, a battle of the fastest over 80 metres, followed closely by the P7 boys event in the same race. This pattern continued throughout the school with each class participating in each event. Their was a hint of cheating in the egg and spoon race featuring the P5 boys as one competitor was seen bending their spoon in a bid to make it more likely to keep the egg in place. He was found out though and a replacement spoon was drafted in. High drama followed in the P2 girls hoop race when 2 athletes forgot to go through the hoop and ran straight past them. However, they went unseen by the referee and were awarded the points much to the amusement of the crowd.
Tears were seen as some competitors became upset after they lost their races. The blame for their lack of form was placed with their Mum's who had shouted their names in encouragement just seconds before the starter shouted "go". This it was felt had put them off and gave them a poor start. The Mum's involved (this reporter was not one of them!) were advised to shut up before the start of future races.
It became clear that much thought had gone into the pairings for the three legged race with competitors being matched up not only in pairs according to their house groups but also in size as well. There was a good result here for P5 girls as 9 year old Chloe and her partner, the taller but equally as co-ordinated Brittany stormed to second in an impressive showing. This year's surprise package came in the form of P1, in this their first full showing in the tournament. 5 year old newcomer Jake took an early bronze in the flat race and his classmate Fern showed she will be a force to be reckoned with heading to victory in 4 events.
The morning's events over then, it was time for a break and when the athletes reconvened for the afternoon potted sports, a team event based on their houses, the sun was shining and the heat was really taking a toll. The 130 or so competitors were spilt into teams to undertake such tasks as hurdles, tug of war, caber tossing, shot putting and wellie throwing. The spectators followed the events with a walk round the field to cheer their favourites on to victories..or just to chat to other spectators. The day drew to a close at 3pm and the headmaster gathered the athletes on the playground to reveal the winning teams. There were cheers as the results were announced. Team 2 proved to be the outright winners earning a massive 934 points for their house. Team 2 were made up of about 12 children from all classes and included newcomer Jake and his best friend Charlie. Both were jumping for joy at the result. Emotion obviouslyy got the better of team 2 who had to be brought back to earth with a quiet word from the assistant head.
The results of the overall house team winner will not be known now until Thursday following completion of the remaining events which include high Jump, Football and Hockey tournaments.
Many are concerned about this final outcome and it is considered that the schools decisions not to place families in the same house may result in fighting within homes when the outcome is released. Especially as there has already been some bickering when team 2 members took the mickey out of their siblings in team 9 who came third.
So from a warm and sunny village in West Lothian I will hand you back to the studio.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I'll be heading to the shops with hoddit and doddit in the next few days to buy something for soddit to let him know he's special. Chloe's biological excuse for a Dad will get feck all as that's all he's worth. He is simply a sperm donor as far as I am concerned. I'm not convinced that seeing your daughter twice in 8 months when you live within a 10 minute bus ride makes you special.
Anyhow, I hate father's day. What good is it when you haven't got a father!!??
It's always a bit dodgy when that happens. It's a lottery after all as to who will end up through the wall to you. I'm not too worried. I doubt any Ned families could afford to buy it. As I recall you need to have a job to get a mortgage and I doubt Income Support counts towards that.
My main fear is that we end up with neighbours of a certain persuasion who are prone to filling the house to the brim with relatives in a tax dodge thing and have a preference for owning corner shops as a career. It's not their ethnic roots that bother me. It's the smell.
Sunday, June 11, 2006
It dawned on me on my way home that I have managed to consume every bottle I had in the house in the last week and the prospect of drinking more lager (I drunk about 12 bottles last night at a mates BBQ!) and the accompanying burping that it entails didn't appeal so I stopped at a supermarket to pick up a couple of bottles on the way back.
After chucking in some tortilla chips and dips as well I was all set and looking forward to getting in the garden with the sunday papers.
I was a little bit stunned then went I went to pay for my goodies and the lady behind the till asked me if I had any ID on me!! I'm like "What? You're having a laugh!" and she's like "You need to be 21 to purchase alcohol".
21! She's trying to tell me I don't look over 21! Cracker! I point out to her that I am several years past 21 but she's adamant and explains to me how she's not so sure and it's more than her jobs worth to serve me if I'm underage! Underage! I'm a decade past being underage!
She eventually agrees with me and tells me I should bring I.D next time just in case! That anti-aging cream I use is worth it's weight in gold!
Maybe she was fooled by me not wearing a drop of make up and having my hair in a ponytail! Think I'll do that more often!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Now obviously Scotland didn't make it to the finals. No great shock there as we've been worse than piss poor in recent times under that German waste of space we used to have in charge.
England, the only home nation in the tournament, kick off their campaign today with their first game against Paraguay. Now there's been much hoo ha in the press about whether or not us Scots should be backing England in this tournament. It's going as far as things being said that if we don't then we're racist...and this is coming from so called respected journalists and media. Let me make my position clear on this. England are the only representatives from Great Britain. They are our neighbours. In the Olympics we compete with them under one flag. So we should remember we are all one nation and we should back them all the way. AYE RIGHT.
I am sorry but there is no way on this earth I will be supporting England through this tournament. There is a reason why they are called the Auld Enemy. Hundreds of years of history tells us what they are. However history lessons aside the reason I will never back England is a simple one and here it is...The Media. Everywhere you look it's "Come On England" In the 2 weeks before this WC kicked off every one of the 5 terrestrial channels in this country showed a programme about Englands WC win in 1966. Two of them went as far as re-running the entire match.
There are George Crosses everywhere you look on TV. Statements of "England Expects" have been spelled out on the side of lorries, on the decks of Royal Navy Warships and are being dragged behind planes on banners. We have had programmes which followed the England teams coach journey to the airport, we've had hour long documentaries on Sven, on Beckham, on Gerrard and don't even get me started on that fucking metatarsal of Rooney's. I mean it was bad enough last time that the newspapers ran a picture of Beckhams foot (which was a lovely foot!) asking us all to touch it and wish him luck but to show us Rooney's this time and ask us all to touch it while sending healing powers to him and to pray for his recovery?? Fuck off.
We've got Crazy Fuckin Frog releasing an England WC cup song along with ones from Embrace, Tony Christie and re-releases of Three Lions. There was a programme about the company that make the Strips for England and how special they are. One about Diego Maradona and his hand of god and how England would surely have won it if not for that cheating incident. Every other advert is for a product related to England...Beckham having a shave, Gerrard kicking a can of Pringles about (although I don't mind that one as it also features Italy's Totti...yum!) Owen running round a supermarket. We've even been told how much electricity will be used during England games as we all turn on our TV's...on and on it goes.
There is also the fact that their supporters (albeit the small minority) are about as welcome in Europe as Mad Cow Disease was. No doubt they will shame themselves again (in fact 5 of them were arrested last night) with their behaviour. Will they be referred to as English fans by the darling media? No, they will be referred to as British Football Hooligans. You see they're all English when it's going well and ramming it down our throats but one whiff of bother and they all become Brits. Another reason to leave them to fuck alone. The world knows the Tartan Army are among the most welcome in the world and have a fantastic reputation abroad. England can only wish the same could be said of them.
Now the thing is that even if Scotland, Wales, Nothern Ireland were all there too it would be the same. England would dominate everything because the media can't help themselves. We are forever hearing of their Ashes triumph, their Rugby WC triumph (oh did you know that England can become double world cup holders? Did you know it would be the first time a nation has held both these trophies at once? No? I fucking did cause they said so on TV) and that fucking day in '66 which was 40 years ago, that's 10 WC's ago! Can you imagine what life will be like for the 16 million of us in the UK who are not English if they win this?? We will never, ever hear the end of it.
So I will not be supporting them. Today I will support Paraguay, on Thursday it will be T&T and a week on Tuesday it will be Sweden. Sooner they are out the better. The country can get back to normal and we can enjoy the rest of the competition without all the "how great are we" shit. My preference is that they go out in the group stages. I can't see it though so penalties against Germany or Argentina (both of whom they are likely to face in the later stages) would suit just as well.
England opponents aside I will be backing my usual 4 teams (I can't narrow it down any further!) Portugal (cause we have Portugese players at Hearts!), Czech Republic (likewise!), Brazil (no football fan needs a reason to back them!) and Spain (nice strips and Raul who is gorgeous!).
So Come On England? I think not. I'll just have to be a racist for a while.
Friday, June 09, 2006
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
9 To 5 - Dolly Parton
A Kind Of Magic - Queen
A Song For The Lovers - Richard Ashcroft
Achilles Heel - Top Loader
Against All Odds - Phil Collins
Ain’t Nobody - Chaka Khan
Ain't No Sunshine - Al Green
And I Love Her - Beatles
Angels - Robbie Williams
Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) - Pink Floyd
Baby Jane - Rod Stewart
Band of Gold - Freda Payne
Barber's Adagio For Strings - William Orbit
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Blanket On The Ground - Billie Jo Spears
Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits
California Dreamin’ - The Mamas and the Papas
California Love - Tupac & Dr Dre
Careless Whispers - George Michael
Cash Machine - Hard-Fi
Cracklin' Rose - Neil Diamond
Creep - Radiohead
Dance For Me - Mary J Blige
Dare - Gorillaz
Darling Nikki - Prince & The Revolution
December 63 (Oh What A Night) - The Four Seasons
Dignity - Deacon Blue
Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead - Wizard Of Oz Soundtrack
Disco Inferno - 50 Cent
Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue - Crystal Gale
Don't you Want Me - Felix
Don't Go Away - Oasis
Don't Speak - No Doubt
Drug Ballad - Eminem
Eloise - The Damned
Enjoy The Silence - Depeche Mode
Even Better Than The Real Thing (The Perfecto Mix) - U2
Ever fallen In Love? - The Buzzcocks
Everybody (Backstreet's Back) - Backstreet Boys
Everybody Hurts - REM
Everything starts with an E - Ezee Posse
Fairytale in New York - The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
Fame - Irene Cara
Firestarter - The Prodigy
Four To The Floor - Starsailor
Flying Without Wings - Westlife
Fool's Gold - Stone Roses
Forever In Blue Jeans - Neil Diamond
Gold Digger - Kanye West Ft Jamie Foxx
Groove Me Baby - Squirrel Nut Zippers
Hard To Beat - Hard-Fi
Heart - Pet Shop Boys
Hey Boy, Hey Girl - Chemical Brothers
Hips Don't Lie - Shakira ft Wyclef Jean
Hotel California - Eagles
House of the Rising Sun -The Animals
Hunter - Dido
I'm On My Way - The Proclaimers
I'm Still Standing - Elton John
I Don't Want A Lover - Texas
I Don't Want To Miss A Thing - Aerosmith
I Drove All Night - Roy Orbison
I Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
In Da Club - 50 Cent
In The End - Linkin Park
Islands in the Stream - Dolly Parton & Kenny Rodgers
Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals
Jump Around - House Of Pain
Jumping Jack Flash - The Rolling Stones
Let's Dance - David Bowie
Let's Stay Together - Al Green
Let's Stick Together - Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music
Let Your Love Flow - The Bellamy Brothers
Like A Prayer - Madonna
Live Forever - Oasis
Lost In Music - Sister Sledge
Lovesong - The Cure
Mack The Knife - Bobby Darrin
Magic Carpet Ride (Fatboy Slim 7" Edit) - Might Dub Katz
Me Against The Music - Britney Spears Ft Madonna
Me and My Monkey - Robbie Williams
Memories - Elaine Paige
Mini-Correct - The Beautiful South
Morning Glory - Oasis
Mustang Sally - The Commitments Soundtrack
Mystify - INXS
My Way- Frank Sinatra
Nights In White Satin - The Moody Blues
No Regrets - Robbie Williams
Not In Love - Enrique Iglesias Ft Kelis
November Rain - Guns N Roses
Ode To Billy Joe - Billie Jo Spears
Paint It Black - The Rolling Stones
Papa Don't Preach - Madonna
Parisienne Walkways - Gary Moore
Part Time Lover - Stevie Wonder
Poor Misguided Fool - Starsailor
Pride (In The Name Of Love) - U2
Purple Rain - Prince
Real Gone Kid - Deacon Blue
Rebel Yell - Billy Idol
Red Red Wine - UB40
Regulate - Warren G
Rent - Pet Shop Boys
Rhythm Is A Dancer - Snap!
Rivers of Babylon - Boney M
Roadhouse Blues - The Doors
Rollin’ - Limp Bizkit
Running Up That Hill - Kate Bush
Sailing - Rod Stewart
Saturday Night Fever - Bee Gee’s
Save A Prayer - Duran Duran
Secret - Madonna
Secret Smile - Semisonic
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes
Shackles (Praise You) - Mary Mary
She's Electric - Oasis
She Bangs - Ricky Martin
Shut Up - Black Eyed Peas
Signs - Snoop Dogg
Sittin' on the Dock Of The Bay - Otis Reading
Slow - Kylie
Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Smooth - Santana Ft Rob Thomas
So Happy Together - The Turtles
Some Might Say - Oasis
Somebody Told Me - The Killers
Somewhere Only We Know - Keane
Sonnet- The Verve
Sorry - Madonna
Square Dance - Eminem
Stand by Me - Ben E King
Strong Enough - Cher
Sugar Sugar - The Archies
Sunshine On Leith - The Proclaimers
Suspicious Minds - Elvis
Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) - Eurythmics
Sweet Harmony - The Beloved
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
Teardrops - Womack & Womack
That's Life - Frank Sinatra
The Circus - Erasure
The Crystal Ship - The Doors
The Edge Of Heaven - Wham!
The Everlasting - The Everlasting
The Hearts Song - Hector Nicol
The Next Episode - Snoop Dog & Dr Dre
The One I Love - REM
The Power Of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
The Reason - Hoobastank
The Road To Mandalay - Robbie Williams
The Winner Takes It All - Abba
This Time - Wet Wet Wet
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Tilt Your Head Back - Nelly & Christina Aguilera
True Faith - New Order
Unbreak My Heart - Toni Braxton
Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
Union Of The Snake - Duran Duran
Viva Forever - Spice Girls
Waiting For Tonight - Jennifer Lopez
Wake Me Up When September Ends - Green Day
Walk This Way - Aerosmith & Run DMC
War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne & Ben Liebrand
We Are Family - Sister Sledge
We Come One - Faithless
We Run This - Missy Elliott
When Doves Cry - Prince
When You're Gone - Mel C & Bryan Adams
Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
White Lines - Grandmaster Flash
Who Am I (What's My Name) - Snoop Dogg
Wild Thing - Tone Loc
Wishing (If I Had A Photograph) - A Flock Of Seagulls
Woman In Love - Barbara Streisand
Wonder wall - Oasis
Word Up - Cameo
Yeah - Usher
You're Makin' Me High - Toni Braxton
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - The Beatles
You Can Do It (Put Your Ass…) - Ice Cube
You Do Something To Me - Paul Weller
You Keep Me Hanging On - Kim Wilde
You Really Got Me - The Kinks
You Should Be Dancing - Bee Gees
Your Latest Trick - Dire Straits
Zombie - The Cranberries
Isn't iTunes clever? 190 of my favourite songs. The red ones represent my favourite favourites apparently. I will be very sad and tell you that iTunes is nearly spot on...the red ones are indeed probably my favourite tunes. My absolute favourite song ever is one the list, it's Billie Jean (hate Michael Jackson, love the song!) followed by Richard Ashcroft's Song For The Lovers which is just superb. Now if only iTunes could put them in the order in which I like them for me instead of alphabetically I'd be all the road!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Steven has given me a wee list from his family of birth dates -
His birthday - 31st August
His Mum - 14th October
His Dad - 14th November
His Brother - 10th November
His Sister - 2nd June
Here's a few of mine -
My Birthday - 2nd April
My Mum - 25th February
My Sister - 1st June
My Geoff - 13th March
My Son - 26th July
My Daughter - 12th November
My Nephew - 20th November
My Niece - 14th October
My Mum In Law - 31st August
So bizarrely we have 2 exact matches in the family and one very near miss with our Sisters.
It always seems to be the way that you meet/make friends with people and then find you have more in common than you realise. When I moved into my house here in the sticks I knew no-one from round here. Soon enough we made friends and now have some really good one's that hopefully we'll know for life. We all shared things in common...the age's of our kids, the sizes of our families, the things we did for a living etc. It was only later on that I found out there were about 7 people in this street that went to the same school as I did and lived in the same area as I did. We all knew people in common. Our parents had lived and worked near where we stayed. Our paths had crossed many times before without us ever knowing it.
As Steven pointed out it apparently only takes 2 or 3 people you know to know 2 or 3 other people before you both find someone you both know. In a similar vein, one of my best friends has a sister called Jackie whom I've met a few times. I had never met Jackie's Husband Brian before though. I never put the fact togther that her surname was the same as a friend of mine. Turns out my best friends brother in law is my friends Brother! 7 years I've known them and I never knew that. I went to school with Brian's Brother and have known him for over 20 years! I knew one of my friends for 2 years before casually commenting how my Uncle had died after falling from a roof. She immediately asked his name and it turns out she knew my Uncle well as her Brother and my Cousin are very good friends.
It's always been a small world really.
I have been doing my family tree on all sides and I've got them all back to about the 1600's. However I have a wee gap in my tree which is starting to annoy me. That gap is a cousin of mine. All my rellies have their wee bits of info on the tree bar this one. The reason for this is that I know very little about him. And I do mean very little.
All I do know is that he was born in Jo'Burg. That my Uncle is his Dad and appears on his birth lines and that his Mother was called...wait for it...Bunny. Bunny? What sort of name is that? Anyway he was born between 1979 and 1981 given that he was about 6 when my Uncle (who had returned home by then) last got any details of him in about 1987 ish. I also know his name is Kyle and according to what I've been told his surname was Stenhouse originally but he may well have changed it to his Mum's name.
My Uncle died in 1999 and Kyle has a sister and 2 brothers over here as well as 2 nephews now. I know both his Brothers would love to find out about him as would all the family.
Now over here in civilisation we have websites where you can order birth records and where the powers that be will check names and stuff for you based on very little information. What I need to know is...do they have a similar thing for South Africa??
Assuming you know the answer or have an idea of how a daft wee scots lassie like me can find it...answers to the usual address please! I night just find myself with a whole load of rellies over there I can come calling on!
The papers yesterday all carried pictures of new born babies who had entered the world on this date. Some weighed in at 6lbs 6oz and one was born at 06.06am in bizarre twist. Funnily enough there were no Damien's amongst them! Seems a shame really as it could have been kinda fun!
However maybe Damien isn't the name we should be looking out for. Damien (according to a baby name dictionary) actually means "one who tames". We should perhaps be looking towards names like...
Barbara - Strange one
Cain - Possessed
Bronson - Son of the dark man
Cary/Carey - The dark one
Damon - Demon
to find our new anti-christ...or maybe a wee bit closer to home where we have Ross meaning Red in German and Douglas meaning Dark Stranger. Mmmm! Of course in Scotland Ross means "from the peninsular" so a totally different meaning then but I like the Red Dark Stranger one better!
On a lighter note I could never be the Anti-christ incarnate as my name, Jennifer, means fair one and it's derived from the french name Guinevere (King Arthur's slut....I mean queen!!). Steve has a name which means crown so he comes in handy for a queen like me! Then of course we have Max whose name means something we all knew already...the greatest!
My kids are ok as well. Chloe is a Greek name and means blooming and Jake is simply an abreviated form of Jacob. Geoffrey on the other hand means peaceful gift. Peaceful? Geoff? Someone is having a laugh there.
This image is one of the new designs for Tynecastle Stadium that have been submitted in tender for the contract to re-vamp the stadium.
The Hearts FC majority shareholder/owner Valdimir Romaonov has issued a list of things he wants for the ground and opened it up to tender about 9 months ago in a fairly hush hush way. There have been several submissions of which this is one. The reason I can show you this one (which comes from the company that designed it) is that it has been rejected along with 3 others all in a similar vein. It seems Vladimir and his right hand men have found the design they favour and are now in negotiations with the Council to obtain the necessary consents etc.
This image contains the new stand, a hotel and a conference suite and additional executive boxes for hospitality which were required elements in any design.
Any of you who know what Tynecastle currently looks like will surely find yourselves saying "holy shit" when you see this. If this is the calibre of design being submitted then I am just gob-smacked. This would make Tynie miles better than either Parkhead or Ibrox.
To think it is just 2 seasons since the ink was drying on a contract to sell Tynie for a housing development in order to pay the clubs debts off is incredible. We would now have been playing football in Murrayfield as lodgers to the SRU. The fact that we are now looking at plans like this for the place that has been our home for over 100 years (100 years and 2 months to be exact!) is like a dream.
The media might slate Valdimir as a dangerous, outspoken and manipulative man who is bad for scottish football but anyone who can come in and save one of the oldest clubs in the country, bring them silverware in his first full season in charge and begin plans for this type of improvement to our ground must surely be a good thing for the game.
Long live King Vlad.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Being a superstitious type I'm going for the latter. You see I have just had a shocker of a last 24 hours. It's been coming for a while now according to my Magpie friends. We have 2 that frequent our garden and very nice to see the two of them it is as we all know seeing 2 signifies good luck according to the rhyme...one for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy. This week however one of my two Magpies was on a bit of a mad mission to attract my attention, possibly with a view to warning me of my impending bad luck, and decided to fly straight into my (closed) patio door which resulted in him leaving a big yucky mark on the glass and more bizarrely falling back onto the grass in a complete daze! I wonder if he saw wee birds spinning round his head like in cartoons? Anyway there was no sign of the other one...one for sorrow then, and that was the start of my Magpie warnings.
Saturday saw me out in the garden hanging my washing. It was a lovely day remarkably warm and I spotted one of my Magpies flying about overhead. Despite my best efforts I didn't manage to find the other...one for sorrow again then and another omen from my Magpie friends! So later on Saturday evening I find myself with an itchy ear and grab a cotton bud to give it a wee scratch...only for the end of the cotton bud to come off in my ear! So there I am grabbing the tweezers and telling Better Half to get it out when he informs he he can't because he can't see it! It is well and truly stuck inside! So after exhausting all my options which included stamping my feet and pacing about saying "what the hell will I do now?" I realise I'm left with little option but to go and have the bloody thing removed with medical assistance. Saturday night, accident and emergency not what you want to be having to do. I am seen by the nurse who informs me she can't see it either and that I'll need to have an x ray to locate it but that it's best to come back in the morning for that. So it's home again to return the following morning.
Sunday arrives and I get the kids up and we head back up to A&E.On the way I spot a Magpie sitting in the middle of the road, and it sits there until I nearly run the bloody thing over. I look round wildly for another one but don't see any...one for sorrow yet again. It's 7.30 am when we arrive and I pull into where I am going to park the car and realise that I am stuck because some idiot has gone off and left their car in the middle of the road and there's no way to get round it. My only option is to reverse back round the bend and go in another route. Sounded alright at the time. However despite this being a manouvre I could most likely do with my eyes shut I hear the delicate sound of bang and realise I have managed to hit a van to the side of me. A man appears and smiles. I am swearing loudly to myself. The man is the driver of the van I've hit and as I get out of my car he says to me "Dinnie worry aboot it. You're alright there's nae damage tae the van. I'll get it shifted up on the pavement so you can get away past this eejits car that's in the road" so I'm thinking Phew. Then I hear the guys mate pipe up "Aye but ye might want tae tell her tae come roon and look at her ain car like...it's no looking so good". So I do and I am no longer thinking Phew. I am thinking Oh my fucking God, what the fuck???. One look has told me it's a whole new bumper...partly because it falling off at one side and partly because there is a lovely big scratch down one side of it. Ouch! The guy agrees there's no need to swap details. His van's fine (note to self...Ford Focus St's always come of worse when you hit a Transit van, you are not driving a Landcruiser anymore and therefore do not have big bumpers!) and he tells me that if we do swap details his work will try and blame every dent and scratch on his van on me...to be fair the van was in a bit of a nick anyway...and we leave it at that.
I finally get the car parked (it's making a noise like a helicopter now instead of it's usual plane engine noise!) in a space miles away from any other vehicles and head into A&E. I sit for the next hour and a half with a woman who got her leg plastered last night after breaking her ankle and has now noticed her toes are going black, a man who was best man at a wedding and got into a fight with one of the guests and has damaged his hand, 2 men who managed to do themselves a mischief the previous night while full of drink...one with a sore ankle and one with a sore arm and a young girl who has fallen off the skateboard as well as a couple of others. I finally get my x ray and the offending cotton bud end is located only for the Doc to tell me that she can't reach it because and I quote "you have ears like a child's, they are tiny and very narrow inside". I do have quite wee ears as it happens. Anyway turns out that the adult size thingy they use to look into you ears doesn't fit in mine so she needs to get a childs one. She can now see in a bit better but still can't reach it. The only way this little bugger is being shifted is by wetting it with the hope it will expand enough to let her grab it! So now I'm getting a syringe full of saline shoved in my ear. My mood is not a good one after my car fiasco so I'm not exactly chuffed at having freezing cold liquid squirted in my lugs! However it seems to do the trick and a few pokes and prods later the little cotton wool piece is gone from my ear. Some words of caution about looking for discharge and how my ear is a bit red and sore inside and I'm sent on my way.
We head back to the car and drive home (sounding like a helicopter again) and fuck me what do I see as I pull into the driveway? One fucking Magpie sitting on my fence. I'm not having it and politely tell it to piss off. Of course I am well aware of what impending sorrow it is forewarning me of this time...Geoff coming home from work and his inevitable reaction to my car's good looks being destoyed. I inform the kids that Daddy is likely to be in a very bad mood when he gets in but they have an idea to combat the problem...they decide we should glue the bumper back in place and then fill in the scratch mark with a blue felt tip pen, Chloe even tells me she has a blue glittery one just like the colour of my car...aren't kids cute? So they go off out to play and I spend the next 2 hours pacing about like a women waiting to go to the gallows.
Eventually Geoff's car appears and I begin silently praying that he walks up the drive on the drivers side and so will not see the damage before he gets inside. It all goes to plan. However he takes one look at me and says "What's wrong? What's happened?" Fucking Man Radar again. I tell him I love him and need to speak to him about something. He asks "What have you done? How much has it cost or is it going to cost me?" I smile weakly and say "It's bad. It's very, very bad" to which he replies in an instant "What have you done to the car?" He opens the front door and looks at the car but you can't really see the damage from the front so he closes it again and looks at me. I am being very silent. "Have you knocked the TV over?" (because obviously with the world cup starting in a week this would be very serious because one needs a 42 inch TV on which to watch it!). I shake my head and tell him he might want to look at the car again...
Fast forward an hour or so. Surprisingly there is no shouting. There is no big argument. There are a few sighs which obviously mean "fucking women" and as he is on his knees inspecting the damage there is a wee statement of "fucking hell, you don't do things by halves". I seem to be unable to control myself from smiling and bizarrely Geoff decides to smile as well. So it's all good. I'm an arse and he knows it so we're both happy-ish. So maybe the Magpie on the fence wasn't warning me of sorrow when he got in at all. It must have been something else. Which means I have more bad luck to come. Right fuck this, those Magpies need to go...anyone know where I can get an air rifle??
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Friday, June 02, 2006
Well huge congratulations to them as they have today become the proud parents fo a lovely healthy baby Girl who weighed in at a very respectable 7lb 2oz (why is it us women always ask what weight the baby is??). Katrina is well after her op this morning and everyone is delighted, especially as they were both convinced it was going to be another boy! It seems she may have been named Kara but my silly sister forgot to ask! Kara was the huge favourite for a girl though so chances are they've stuck with it...we'll wait and see!
I now feel hugley broody, which will obviously only get worse when I see the wee scone! If only I could wake up tomorrow about 8 months pregnant instead of enduring the 32 week long morning sickness I get I'd be all for another one!
Right then, there's a new baby in town which can mean only one thing....I can go shopping for baby clothes. Where's my purse??
I was over on his blog last night and had a look at some of his pictures from his trip to Africa last year. It seems odd that it's been that long since he was away. I can still remember the "I've been asked to go to Africa" conversation we had and his excitement about it and more vividly the day we were on Yahoo Messenger together when he informed me he might not be able to go after all because of a wee hitch with the flight ticket. There was that wee hint of unhappiness in the messages. Now after all his happy faced loveliness at thinking he was going there was no way he wasn't now! I remember a flurry of typing on this very keyboard as I shuffled around websites trying to locate a suitable flights for him to SA. I was even telling Geoff that we would just have to lend him the money for the fare! Make no mistake about it...I would have and Ross knows it! As it turned out he got his flight and everything was sorted. The happy face was back in place again!
Ross is as straight and as nice as they come. He needed this trip away. He needed to be far away from work and far away from his normal routine. He's a creative person and it's sometimes hard to be creative and let the imagination run riot when your faced with the same routine day in day out. Africa changed Ross a wee bit. Read any of his tales from over there and you'll see that.
So as I read his blog today about his adventures round his hometown while on holiday I wonder exactly what he'd be getting up to if he was spending this week off work in another destination. He told me not too long ago he fancied seeing New York. He should stick it to the top of his list of to do things. He love it's contradictions and it's anything goes attitude, he'd love watching the world go by in Central Park, he'd love Soho and TriBeca. He'd hate the vainess and falseness of it all but would enjoy it with a strange satisfaction! I hope he makes it there. Maybe he'll let me tag along...if I promise to stay away from the shops of course!
Right enough of all this being nice about folk stuff....Ross you lazy bastard why did it take so long to get the rest of those photo's up????
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Zombie - The Cranberries (I love Delores' voice)
Eloise - The Damned (I used to fancy the lead singer many moons ago!)
Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones
Hangin' On The Telephone - Blondie (I still want to be Debbie Harry when I grow up!)
In The End - Linkin Park (It's just good!)
Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Seven Nation Army - The White Stripes (Oh the Hibees are Gaaayyyy, sing it at the guitar bit!)
Rebel Yell - Billy Idol (Still have a huge crush on him to this very day!)
Ready To Go - Republica
Pride - U2
Holiday - Green Day (I dare you to try not to tap something along to this!)
November Rain - Guns And Roses (still lovin' the video for it too!)
Hard To Handle - Black Crowes (Heard it again recently in the Hard Rock and liked it)
All These Things That I've Done - The Killers
Smile Lke You Mean It - The Killers (I've got soul but I'm not a soldier!)
and more mellowly (is that even a word??? don't think so!)...
Jesus To A Child - George Michael
My Way - Frank Sinatra
2 Out Of 3 Ain't Bad - Meatloaf
We Are The Champions - Queen (sad but true...I love this song!)
Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits (make the hairs on my neck stand up for some reason!)
Unfaithful - Rhianna
Woman In Love - Barbara Streisand (I'm a big softie really and a sucker for the Bee Gee's!)
Bed Of Roses - Bon Jovi
Now I'm bored with the 6545 downloads I have on this bloody thing so it's about time you lot started to tell me what your listening to so I can download more stuff!!
Although Gill and her Hubby Jason split several years ago everyone still gets on really well and Katrina (and her Hubby Scott now) are still part of the family. Gill is looking forward to her new niece or nephew coming and Kennedy and Dean can't wait to see their new cousin.
Hopefully we are all going to see the happy ending we would like for Katrina and Scott. This is their second baby. Sadly their first died at only 2 days old. In December 2005 Katrina gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Kiegan. However due to complications with his delivery he was starved of oxygen and tragically he was just too little to fight back as his wee organs started to fail. It was just horrible for everyone but was made extra heart breaking by the fact that Katrina's Mum Bridget had died from cancer in December 2004 aged only 55, and almost a year to the day she died all the same faces that had been there to see Bridget laid to rest were back by the same grave to see little Kiegan laid beside his Gran. In a wee twist of fate my Dad's grave is only 4 down from Bridget's which made being there a bit harder still.
So tomorrow, after having so much bad luck and shedding many tears, Katrina and Scott will be welcoming another wee baby into the world. This time I have a good feeling they'll get the luck they deserve.
I'm sure by this time tomorrow they will both be tired, emotional but very happy! I'm also sure Granny Bridget and Kiegan will be looking on and smiling as well.
So here's the explanation of Neet Neet and what it means!
My old Dad was a fan of nicknames. Rarely did he call anyone by their actual name prefering instead to use his own brand of silliness to re-name someone. For example Ross was never called Ross when my Dad spoke of him but was referred to as Pitch (as in pitch n toss) likewise my Mum was shortened from Heather to H, my Uncle was called Para (as in Para Handy - Andy), My Auntie was byelt ( as in byelt Bean - Jean) and my Brother In Law was called Pace (as in it rhymed with Jase, leading to Jase the pase - his name being Jason obviously!) and his grandkids were known to him as Wee You (Kennedy, don't know why, never asked him!), Becca/Becks (Chloe becuase her middle name is Rebecca), Deanie Boy/Wee Man (Em Cause his name is Dean, that one's kind of normal!) and Doodle/Pot Noodle (Jake - because he began calling him Jakey Doodle and changed to Pot Noodle purely because it rhymed!).
As you will imagine my Sis and I were not immune to his nicknames either. While I was still an only child I was called Katie (which was a nickname my Gran Cathy was known by). Once Gill appeared I was known as Cokee which was Gill's version of Jenny. As I got older I became Face (christ alone knows why...although rumour has it it was connected to my ability to pull a great moody look!). By the time I reached 12 I was BJ (nice! which stood for Big Jen which related to my height back then as opposed to my arse size!). I also had a spell as Hot Lips. When I reached 22 I became Jessica which Dad used until he died. Jessica came from my Niece calling me Jessie instead of Jenny which she couldn't say properly...it stuck and she still uses it sometimes now even though she's 10 and Geoff uses it all the time!
My Sis also had a wee variety of names, Yappie (as she never stopped talking) Tweeky (after a robot thing in Buck Rodgers) and Lilo (as in Lilo Lil which rhymed with Gill) but her most well oved nickname was Neet Neet. In fact it was so well used that when my Uncle returned from South Africa after moving there to live, he couldn't remember what my Sister's actual name was! In he walked saying "oh there's wee Neet Neet" to my Sis who was now about 6!
So how did Neet Neet come about? Neet Neet was the name we used for our dummies as babies! My Sister had an unatural attachment to her dummy and was always saying "I want my Neet Neet" so as you'd expect it became her nickname and she was called Neet Neet from being young enough to talk until she was about 6. And yes our kids all had dummies and yes they all called them Neet Neet's.
So there you have it, in long and glorious description (which means I don't have to post again for ages cause I've spoiled you all these past few days!). The reason for Happy Birthday Neet Neet!