Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Planes, trains ... and HORSES?!

Well you'll be pleased to know that I did indeed make my train with enough time to buy beer, but shortly after the trip began I started to wish I hadn't. We travelled with a well-known train company - think hot air balloons, rockets to the moon - in one of their well advertised brand-spanking new trains. Hurray! Or not. After departing London, we started to notice that things weren't quite right with our "new" train - water was coming from the roof, the toilet door wouldn't stay shut (leading to some hilarious getting to know yous with the passengers), and the intercom was perfectly legible which meant something was definitely up. So, we get to Rugby and the lovely northern conductor announces that they have to "reboot" the train to solve the problems, which in effect meant switching it off and on again. Now, I've done that with printers that won't play ball, and indeed computers, but I thought trains were slightly more complicated than that. So we sat in the dark at the platform for a good 20 minutes, then thankfully the train decided to work and we could set off again.

So far so good, but now the train is late, and being the last train out of civilization for the evening lots of people have missed their connections. No problem chirped up the conductor, he promised to get everyone to their final destinations be it by taxi, bus or ... on horseback. I swear we smelled horses when we walked up the train, I assumed this was due to the reported problems with the toilets on the fancy new trains, but are train companies now keeping horses on board just in case they need extra transportation? Times they are a'changing...

Friday, May 27, 2005

Rescue me!

The rest of the world is on the beach or in pub beer gardens and where am I? I'll tell you where I am, in exactly the same place as I was at 9am this morning. For reasons only known to the Great Librarian in the Sky, my library is staying open until 8pm and I'm the lucky one still here. There are 3 other libraries linked to us and they all had the sensible idea to close early seeing as it is a Bank Holiday weekend and all. So this means all the sad workaholic library users have come here instead. And I am VERY cross. I have a train to catch after I leave here, and time is tight, so if anyone gives me grief and tries to photocopy a case at 7.59 I will not be accountable for my actions.

If I'm not here next week, please start a collection for my bail.


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Put it away!!

My god. I know it's sunny today good people of London but please. On my way to work this morning I have seen unnerving amounts of flesh. And why is it the minute the sun comes out people decide to wear their summer gear but team it with their winter gear?? I saw several ladies in lovely summery sandals and skirts - but with their winter wooly coats on the top, one lady had her hood up too. So is it that Londoners don't feel the cold from the waist down? I also saw a man's bottom. Yes that's right. B.O.T.T.O.M. He was cycling to work (jolly good show, good for the environment and all that) but his shorts (skimpy at the best of times) had decided to head south leaving me a marvellous view of his bum cheeks. At 8.00 in the morning. Tempted as I was to stick my head out of the window and yell at him (I can't wolf whistle), in the usual repressed British way I merely shuddered and carried on to work. Eugh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Talking happy talk

Now this doesn't happen often. This week mainly nice things have been happening to me and do you know what? Instead of accepting them and carrying on merrily, I am waiting for the fall - the REALLY big bad thing that is stored up for me. Is this normal? If I was indeed normal I would deal with the blow when and if it happens, and not be miserable in anticipation. For example, last night my old man offered to take me to the Maldives for a holiday later in the year (he heard off someone who heard off someone else that someone is doing really good deals - a definite then!). Now, those who know me know we had a few problems with our honeymoon earlier this year, and this seems to have instilled in me a fear of travel agents and indeed holidays. So I wasn't over-eager (I should have bitten his hand off there and then) but I made non-committal noises as I immediately assumed a) it would never happen and b) if it did we would almost certainly face danger of death or a very nasty stomach bug while we were there.

I have developed a suspicion of things in general too. After my run-ins with the travel agents and my evil bank, I now never believe people when they say they are going to do something. So it was a great surprise when I phoned up a train company to ask why I hadn't been given seats when my tickets arrived and they immediately allocated me some and sent out new tickets which arrived the next day. Ordinarily I wouldn't have even phoned them to check, I would have assumed my evil nemesis wanted me to stand up for 5 hours in a corridor near the toilets.

So what should I do? Try to be more positive and shrug off the bad things that happen occasionally (and thereby drive everyone I know mad by my cheeriness) or keep moaning?! Hee hee, I think the latter don't you? It's much more satisfying :-)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Wedding buffet attack!

So, I was at a wedding reception on Saturday evening. It was very nice, there have been lots of weddings to go to this year - a sure sign of getting old. Anyway, halfway through the evening a buffet was brought out (as usual we'd all eaten before to counter unexpected events - and on this occasion just as well!) and it all looked lovely, hot stuff, sandwiches and quiches etc.

And then it was gone.

Honestly. In the five minutes between noticing the arrival of the food and turning around again hoardes of starving (they must have been) wedding guests stampeded the table and left empty plates and stunned looking waitresses in their wake...

Piranas or locusts (thanks Mr Lady Librarian!) had nothing on these guys.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Going underground...

...or things I think about when forced to take the tube

Now I rarely get the tube if I can help it, maybe once a week if I have to. Last night I had to. I went to Holborn and it's really weird. As you descend into the BOWELS OF THE EARTH (said in a scary mad scientist fashion) it gets hotter and hotter and by the time you reach the platform it's really uncomfortably hot. Now it rained most of yesterday and isn't that warm yet what with it only being May and all, so I have come to the conclusion that they must have built Holborn underground station right above the fiery furnaces of hell/centre of the earth (boiling lava etc whichever way you look at it).

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Do you believe in fate?

Hell yes!! Yesterday I booked a weekend break in Paris after failing miserably to book Barcelona or Madrid as they are all full of rich parents and their kids on half term breaks. And today I read an interview with the World's Most Handsome Rock God (aka Chris Cornell) who I assumed lived in some cool part of America like Seattle but he LIVES IN PARIS!!!

Do you think I'll bump into him if I hang around enough sleazy rock god type dives?

Dear Gwen Stefani...

NO!!! Normally you are the height of cool fashionableness. But for the first time I have seen a picture of you and I was shocked. Yes shocked. White tights with cut off toes and stirrups?! White tights?? Without toes?? Over stilettos?!?! Stirrups?? It's just not right. We all used to wear those horrible leggings with stirrups over our trainers but that was when we didn't know any better.

Please don't do it again.

See what I mean here

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Oh my god!

To quote the marvellous Kaiser Chiefs - I have spent the whole day (don't tell my boss) trying to book a short weekend break. I have come to the conclusion that internet travel sites don't really have any holidays on them, they are just there to mess with your head. I decided on Barcelona (where to go is vague, the date we want to go isn't), and with all the major travel sites, they let you spend ages picking a hotel then when you try to book it, the flights aren't available! Why don't they tell you that when you select them? Then I decided Barcelona was too popular and tried Madrid. Found a fantastic bargain in a 5* hotel that looks like it was built out of gold, and again, after a lengthy process to select everything - no available flights. I certainly picked the wrong weekend, at this rate it'll be Butlins in Skegness. I bet that's all booked up too.
I don't have much luck with high street travel agents either now I come to think of it. Take my last holiday, I was sat 3 rows back from my husband on very long flights, we didn't get picked up at the airport, and had to hitch a ride with some crazy (but lovely) locals in a very small and cramped hire car.
And another thing, I was just sent on a mission to return a ream of paper for my boss that was bought yesterday with cash but was slightly the wrong colour. I had the receipt, the paper hadn't been opened so I fulfilled all the criteria for refunds yes? Oh no. Stroppy paper lady wanted to refund the money onto a credit card. I said "but we paid in cash" and she really fought to not give me the money back in hard cash. I explained that we were a small library and didn't have corporate credit cards or gold amex cards or anything fancy like that and after all my trouble with my personal bank card I definitely wasn't handing that over. And anyway, how can you refund money onto a card that didn't buy the thing anyway?
I'm beginning to think it's just me. And I watched the Spongebob movie last night and it was a disappointment. They changed his voice and everything. And he wasn't as funny in a long feature film. I don't think anything will please me this week!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Pirates vs ninjas (the aftermath)

As it turns out, pirates drink rather too much rum, get a bit bolshy and then feel a bit sorry for themselves the day after.
As a pirate vs ninja party which had been looked forward to for many many months, it was a bit of a letdown. People who hadn't even bothered to dress up were allowed in the door (if it was my party they would have been left crying on the doorstep), there were a worrying number of corsets for my liking, and not many ninjas. Ninjas mainly drink lager btw. But the costumes of my immediate group were amazing, worryingly my nearest and dearest made a fabulous ultracamp Freddie Mercury pirate and I am a bit concerned that I'm going to find him dressed up like a pirate every other day, you know, just making a cup of tea in the kitchen with his faux moustache and eye patch on. Our ninja had a great Fu Manchu moustache on (slight problem in the glue department, he had to be dissuaded from using superglue at one point - A&E anyone?) and lots of swords. Yaarrrgghhh.
On the news over the weekend they were suggesting making young offenders wear recognisable outfits - this should be changed slightly into making them wear pirate outfits. It would make people smile instead of throwing eggs or tomatoes at them (nazis anyone?) and whoever has the most inventive costume can get a few hours knocked off their time. Or perhaps a career in the theatre?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Pirates vs ninjas

I'm off to a party tomorrow night and I will mainly be a pirate. I could have been a ninja but my stealth techniques (never that good at the best of times) will be destroyed by rum.
Anyway, pirates drink rum obviously. What do ninjas drink? Green tea I should imagine.
Yarghhh, have a good weekend me hearties!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

Eee!! It's only 4 days until Spongebob the Movie comes out on dvd and the new Audioslave album comes out on the 23rd.

Can life get any better?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Now I hate to admit it but I have recently become addicted to trashy celebrity magazines. Nothing can cheer me up better than reading about celebs who are too thin or too fat or who have been seen leaving their houses with a hair out of place. My favourite this week has been "Katie Holmes in Tom Cruise snogathon rash shocker"!! Who would have thought it. They've been going out for at least 3 weeks, you would have thought they'd be over all that nasty tongue action by now.
Talking of beards, lazy men who have stubble rash take heed - you will not get much in the way of snogs (Tom Cruise apart) coz your poor lady friend will be in much pain and stop the kissing the minute it starts to smart. Shave regularly, it'll get you kisses.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Things I never thought I'd be doing on a Saturday night (Part 1)

Standing back to back with a prostitute. Yes indeedy. And no I wasn't standing on a street corner fighting for "my patch", I was in a pub I've been in lots of times standing in my usual spot. The pub is a little bit dodgy but not so bad you wouldn't take your dad in there, but this Saturday was a leaving do for the landlord who has finally seen sense and sold up for pastures new so it was busier than normal. Then this tall girl walks in to much amusement from the locals who gleefully told me she was the local prozzie. She then proceeded to stand right behind me (I don't think it was personal) touting for business, but personal space issues anyone? We were literally back-to-back and she was elbowing me in the back and it started to hurt the tenth time she did it. Now, not having been in this situation before, I was at a loss as to how to deal with this. Shouting "eh prostitute, get away from me you be-atch" might have seen me pitching up at the local A&E so I didn't go there. Elbowing back didn't have any effect either. Maybe if I'd undercut her she might have got the message and nicked off, or I could have sensibly asked her to move her posterior away from mine in a "we're all grown ups and you must have had a bad life" sympathy type way.
As it was, my friend who is considerably scarier than me did the job for me. Then I think the lady of the night got lucky or decided to move on as she was no more.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

So have you voted?

I did, by post, and I only posted it yesterday so the likelihood of it getting there in time is slim. Choosing who to vote for was very difficult, I only know that if Michael Howard gets in then we're all doomed to certain slavery so I didn't go for him. Our borough has a BNP candidate which was an eye-opener, they handily print adddresses though in case any sane-minded people want to go round and shout at them.

So who will win? The likelihood is Tony again. And nothing will change. But at least we can guarantee some more scandal. And the Return of Peter Mandelsohn...he's a bit like Michael Howard too come to think of it...

We're all doomed!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005


This is another subject that drives me to insanity. If you live in a flat with inadequate soundproofing (which let's face it, most people who live in London do) and your neighbours sound like they are killing each other or their children on a regular basis would you:
a) Hope they get it over with quickly and that the police don't take too long to tidy up
b) Call the police/social services/interpol (as appropriate)
c) Complain loudly with handy implement (eg broom or loud cd) to no avail
d) Curse them with every swear word you know and sit impotently listening to the racquet
e) All of the above?
I could go on about this but a few succinct words will do:
I have lived in enough flats in my short time on this earth to have realised that I want to live in a bungalow in the middle of a field with extra sound proofing (egg boxes round the walls if necessary)
But I'd probably still get woken up by cows at it underneath my windows every night...

Hairdressers - the spawn of beelzebub?

So I bit the bullet last week and went and had a long overdue haircut. I really really hate going to the hairdressers. Don't get me wrong, the day or so of having nice gleaming shiny hair that follows is great, I once didn't wash my hair for 3 days coz it was so lovely and the change that comes about once you've washed it doesn't bear thinking about. But the pain! I had the "top stylist" which cost me a small fortune, but I thought "hey! My hair deserves it, and it hasn't been cut for 4 months". But my "top stylist" obviously thought a cut and blow dry was below his station - hello!! An easy-peasy cut and blow dry should be bread and butter for hairdressers, he could have cut it with his eyes shut (instead of wandering all around the salon following the big bottoms of the girls who worked there).
But I persevered and right when he had almost finished the blow drying and I was eyeing my escape he asked what hair products I use - basically whatever is on the buy one get one free offers when I go in the hair products shop - but he said my hair was very dry and I needed to change it. Innocently I asked "so what would you recommend?". He proceeded to reel off a list of products that they handily sold in the salon which sounded like miracle cures for anything that could be wrong with you. And they cost more than the actual haircut. I think the "must haves" he quoted me cost nearly 60 smackeroonies. (Any hairdressers out there, do you get commission from selling these?)
But poor old shy me, did I say "oh you must think I'm mad. Do you think I'm mad? Or do I look really rich to you?" and storm out? Nah, did I heck. I made some soppy excuse up about not being paid yet and having to come back next week instead. Which I now feel really stupid about. They made enough money out of me already and now I feel guilty?! Man alive, I've got some problems...