Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Prison Break

It's been almost a full week without blogs.... *sighs* I've had maybe half an hour a day on the computer for the last week, and these half hours have been in snippets of five or ten minutes at a time. Really not conductive towards blogging (or writing of any kind, for that matter). There's no blog today, either. Well, not technically at any rate.

While I was skimming through the Fan Fun forum over at HPANA, I noticed that I hadn't posted a short story in my compilation thread since August. Even more shaming, the August posting was in fact a mere transferring of a story that I had written previously, so it wasn't even a new story.  Feeling the Guilt Monster breathing down my neck, I quickly opened Wordpad and started typing. You have to bear in mind that I had no clue as what I would write about, but I typed for forty-five minutes or so and dutifully posted my ramblings in my compilation thread anyway. That's the kind of Come What May girl I am.  And, as I am also a Kill Two Birds With One Stone kind of girl (or a cheater, you decide), I figured I'd post my hastily written short story here too. I mean, it's rambling, and it was written with no idea how it would end, so it ties in really well with my other blogs, see?

UPDATE!! Sorry, but I had to take down the story, as the second half jumped out at me to be used in a much better way...

Thursday, 24 December 2009

I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus

Excuse me? Is that right? I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus? What's up with that?  It's a song title (or maybe a book title, or possibly a movie title, but definitely a title of something), and as titles go, it's a little unnerving. I mean, if I picked it apart, it's actually downright disturbing.

For a start, this is obviously a title from a child's perspective, and a young child at that. Why? Well, once a child reaches nine or ten, Santa Claus is a nonentity. Santa becomes one of those mythical people that the adults in your life hold up as an example in order to induce good behaviour. By the time you are ten, Santa has joined the Easter Bunny, The Bogey Man, and the Tooth Fairy in the world of We Only Exist To Bribe Young Children Into Being Good And Going To Sleep At A Reasonable Hour.

Not only that, but unless you have a double-barrelled name, a horsy profile and a plummy voice, 'mommy' (or the more commonly used 'mummy') is never uttered past the age of ten. At age ten, most mothers are reduced to being called 'mum', 'mom', or even nothing at all, just a slovenly grunt.

So yes, this was a young child's perspective.  Now, to have a child under the age of ten, a mother who is under the age of forty is usually a given. There are exceptions to this rule, but more often than not we are looking at a parent who is between the ages of 25 and 35.

Santa (even though he's obviously not real) is around eighty, right? At least. I mean, okay, we don't actually know his real age, but given that he has a snowy white beard, rosy cheeks (too much mulled wine perhaps?) and more than his fair share of middle-aged spread, I think it's safe to assume that eighty is a reasonable guess on his age. (If we were to judge his age by the amount of years he has been spreading Christmas cheer, then I'm pretty sure he would be a couple of centuries old, but for the sake of trying to be a little bit sensible, I will stick with eighty, not least because a double-centenary aged feller getting it on with a 35 year old is more than a little icky).

My point is (yes! I DO have a point!), what the hell was an octogenarian doing kissing the mother of some poor innocent child? And why the hell was this child  happy enough to write a song/produce a movie/write a book about it? I mean, I know May and December romances can be sweet and everything, and I'm all for everyone having the freedom of choice, but Santa? Santa?

What about Mrs Claus? Round, jolly, Mrs Claus who looks after the elves, feeds the reindeer, and bakes endless mince pies (Santa's belly has to be filled with something)? Santa should totally be ashamed of himself! What on earth would happen if Mrs Claus found out, that's what I'd like to know. She's obviously a sensible sort, she has to be, doesn't she? Santa is obviously far too busy eating those pies and drinking buckets of mulled wine to be able to watch over the millions of children all over the world. And as for the actual presents, well.... show me a man who can wrap presents, and I'll show you the woman who really does it. I'm positive than men are equally up to the task of cutting paper, rolling it around a present, and sticking some sellotape on it. I'm not saying that they are inept at it at all. They just don't like it.  They will inevitably ask their wife/mother/sister/girlfriend/daughter to take over the wrapping duties nine times out of ten. Santa will be no different. *nods wisely*

So, being the sensible sort of woman that she is, Mrs Claus, when finding out about her husband's infidelity, will, and quite rightly I might add, divorce Santa faster than you can say Jingle Bells. It's a foregone conclusion, obviously.

That will never do!

So listen up Kid With The Mother Who Brazenly Snogs Santa - don't sing about it! Or write a book about it! Or make a movie about it! Leave well alone! Think of poor Mrs Claus, she doesn't deserve this! And your 'mommy' could certainly do better than an old lecher who eats all of the pies! Got it? Got it? Next time you see mommy smooching with an old man with a white beard**, pull them apart, damn it! Avoid a catastrophe! Save Christmas!!

** a) If white-bearded old man is Gandalf of Middle Earth, turn a blind eye. The poor man hasn't seen any action in centuries, and isn't married either. Give the poor man a break.

     b) If white-bearded man is Albus Dumbledore of Potterverse, then I wouldn't worry at all. He's definitely not married, plus I have it on good authority that he usually only kisses men with the initials G.G. If he's kissing your mom/mum, it's obviously a dare of some kind (unless her name is Georgie Glewbadoo, is your adoptive mother, and used to be a man, in which case your problems are only just beginning, and would actually be quite a good basis for a song/book/movie title now that I think about it).

And that's my advice this Christmas Eve. I'm going now. And don't forget, no kissing the old man in the red suit!!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

I was only going to....

I think - and as I type this I am mentally crossing my fingers - I might actually be able to sit down long enough to type something. This is the fourth time today that I have attempted to update my blog. *rolls eyes* I've managed to get online a few times today, but each time was for about five minutes and I could do little more that 'like' a couple of friends' Facebook status messages. Okay, so I had a couple of games of Bejeweled too, but that was simply because there is a way to, ehm, tweak *coughs* the scores and I thought it might be funny to have a huge score, plus it only takes a couple of minutes. Anywho....

We have been snowed in here in the Kair of Diff. Well, mostly iced in if I am being truthful, but you know what I mean. Everyone has been panic buying milk, bread and vegetables, and there have been more than the usual amount of sirens blaring in the last couple of days owing to people slipping and sliding all over the place. Not good. Thankfully there hasn't been any major traffic accidents as far as I am aware, and I hope it stays that way.

Back to what I was saying before, this is the fourth time today that I have tried to blog. I had a 'spare' half an hour earlier (well, not exactly spare, but it was when hubby had popped out so it was a rare opportunity to nab the PC). Anywho, I thought I would blog, but I wanted to quickly check my emails and Facebook page in case anyone had left me a message (as you do). My step-daughter was online and I quickly grabbed the chance to ask her when she was calling for her Christmas presents. She has a phone, but I didn't have her new number (she changes her mobile about as often as I play Bejeweled. In other words, frequently).

Anyway (Lordy, I'm digressing today), I ended up chatting to her for a while (as you do) and we arranged for her to visit today. By the time we'd finished fixing times and lifts here and back home, hubby was home, so no blogging for me.

When she arrived she decided to pop down her nan's house as well as her bampy's house, so I thought - right! Time to blog! I decided to make a nice cup of tea to warm me up, and while I waited for the kettle to boil I started clearing up from the huge cooked breakfast that I had made earlier. I was only going to rinse the plates and stack them ready for washing up later on in the day, but once I started, I ended up cleaning the whole kitchen. By the time I poured my tea, hubby and step-daughter were back. Strike two.

I popped to the library to stock up on more books (these internet-free evenings are KILLING me), and grabbed the last quart of milk and two loaves of bread from the corner shop. Yay! I thought, no need to go out tomorrow! Of course, I almost broke my neck about five times walking up the hill back to my house (one step forward, three slips back), but I made it home safely, thank goodness. I made a well-earned cup of tea and grabbed a book to leaf through while the hubby played poker on Facebook.

Then hubby decided to go out, and I thought yes! This time I can DEFINITELY blog! Wahoo!!


I dutifully made the kids their tea at 5.45pm, only if you look at the time on this post (if you are in Britain, that is) you will notice that 5.45pm was well over two hours ago. I only went out the kitchen to prepare tea, but seeing as I had already cooked stuff earlier on, it was only a question of re-heating it and serving it up. I ended up changing bedding and putting the nth load of washing on, changing the chip pan oil (and all the cleaning that this job entails), bringing the hoard of Christmas goodies from my bedroom and finding homes for them in my already well-stocked kitchen cupboards, and just generally sorting things out.  I only went to get the kids their tea for crying out loud!! It wasn't as if I WANTED to do these things, I just became this robot that kept finding things to do. *scratches head in robot fashion*

Anywho, these are the perils of a procrastinator. Every day I have a 'I was only going to...' moment, and I swear they are never intentional, they just happen. What's makes it odd is that these moments are often linked to jobs that I absolutely HATE doing (*glares at chip pan*).

So that was my day, and I bet tomorrow will be just the same. I'm hoping to get online tomorrow evening, but if I don't, I'd like to wish everyone a fantastic Christmas, and I'd also like to say a great big THANK YOU to those of you have visited my crazy blog and been kind enough to read and comment on it.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Ellie-Belly's Birthday

Yes, I've already blogged today, but seeing as I am already ten blogs short this month, an extra ramble makes me feel a little better about neglecting my blogging duties.

You all probably know (I've mentioned it almost as much as my daughter lately *snort*) that my little girl was a birthday girl today. I look at her and I can't believe she is already eight years old. It truly is scary watching your kids grow up.

I've just finished clearing up after a pizza and movie extravaganza. *dies* Ellie only invited three friends (all girls), but with my house being as small as it is, and with the amount of screeching that was going on, it felt like I had at least twenty kids here.

My son, being wise, went to his friend's house. Unfortunately, this resulted in a police visit because he managed to get himself beaten up INSIDE his friend's house.  A couple of kids barged into the house when the sister opened the door and attacked both my son and his friend. Honestly, I just can't believe his luck (I will have to blog about my run-ins with the police over the last year sometime soon, now that I think about it). Thankfully, my son wasn't injured, which was a relief, obviously. He's pretty shaken up though.

Anyway, this is supposed to be a birthday blog, so....

As well as the son escaping the screeching girls, the hubby also managed to avoid a headache. First he took advantage of my son's empty bedroom and played poker for a while, then he went to the pub. *rolls eyes* Honestly, men just can't cope with kids' parties at all. Okay, I can't cope much better, but seeing as I was supervising, I couldn't exactly pop to the pub. Bah humbug.

Pizza was dutifully ordered and demolished in about ten minutes accordingly (though I craftily stashed a pizza in the kitchen so that me and the hubby can have a munch later on *winks*). Sweetie things were brought out and devoured in as little time as the pizza, and birthday cake was presented (along with my burned thumb *shifty*).

Among the presents were two pairs of ugg boots (ooooh, wicked, mum!), a recorder with a how-to-play CD and book to match (must remember to strangle auntie Julia when I next see her), sparkly bracelets, a posh handbag and purse, and the complete series of Charmed (which caused screeching of a window-breaking nature).

The girls watched the Hannah Montana movie on the big TV, and when I say watched, I actually mean they ran around my tiny living room, stomped along to the stomping song (don't know what it's called), used my sofas as trampolines, and frightened the cat to within an inch of her ninth life.

Thankfully I have a quiet house now. My boy is safely home and having a munch in his bedroom, and my girl is watching the first episode of Charmed. They will both be in bed shortly, and I plan on eating my share of pizza and putting my feet up. *sighs blissfully*

Oh, and did I mention that it snowed today too? Quite apart from everything else, I am truly thankful that I didn't break my neck walking up and down my street today. I live on a hill, you see, and a twisty one at that. We're due more snow overnight so I could well be housebound tomorrow. Still, at least it will be a quiet day, unlike the one I had today....

Happy birthday Ellie-Belly!!

Thank You

Dear Amber,

It's your sister's birthday today. Believe it or not, she's eight. I can't believe how fast the time has flown. You would have been approaching your tenth birthday if you were still here. We probably would have been discussing the plans for the party, what you would wear, and how you would style your hair, just as I have done with your sister. I'm pretty sure you would have had long blond hair too, and I bet it would have had that little kink to it, making it curl slightly at the ends.

Would your eyes have been blue like your brother, or brown like your sister? Either way, they would have been sparking with the Smith mischief, without a doubt. Sometimes I wonder what your personality would have been like, but I've always been convinced that you would have been as stubborn as me, just like your brother and sister are. You'd have inherited your father's sense of humour too.

I wanted to say thank you. I carried you for such a short time, and we never had the chance to get to know each other, but you're with me every day. I couldn't give you the promise of birthdays to look forward too,  I couldn't give you kisses and hugs every morning.  Your brother gave you your name in lieu of sibling rivalry, and I gave you my name too, so that we would always have something to share. It wasn't anywhere near what I wanted to give you, but it was all I had.

You gave me Ellie. Without you, I wouldn't have a daughter celebrating her birthday today. Without you, I wouldn't have a little girl who brings joy and exasperation in equal measures. Your tiny shot at life may have only lasted a few months, but those months paved the way to my family being complete.

So as I celebrate your sister's birthday today, always remember that I am thinking of you too, just as I think of you every day. Your footprints are displayed just as proudly as the pictures of your brother and sister, and your name is never far from my mind. Thank you for completing my family.

Love Mum xxx

In memory of my first daughter, Amber Marie Smith, who was born on September 26th 1999, and taken from us the very same day.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

When I grow up, I want to be....

After a sticky weekend so far (daughter had nasty stomach bug, so when I say 'sticky', I mean it literally), it was nice to get up this morning to a child that was happy and smiley (and also hopping with excitement due to her birthday tomorrow, not to mention Christmas). My almost-but-not-quite eight year old was babbling ten to the dozen about this, that, and everything in between.

Now usually, Ellie and babbling equals plenty of nods and 'yes, dears' and not much else, but this morning we had a fairly serious discussion which, for once, didn't include hairstyles, heeled boots and lip gloss (in case you were unsure, the hairstyles, heeled boots and lip gloss are my daughter's favorite topics of conversation, not mine). Anywho, while we were talking about birthday and Christmas stuff in general, my girl suddenly came out with the following:

"When I grow up, I want to be either a teacher, a spy, or a fashion designer."

Now, that might make a few people go 'aw, bless' or some such thing, but I was actually quite impressed that she has apparently progressed from the 'when I grow up I want to be a princess or a pop star' ambitions. The likelihood of my daughter marrying into royalty is zero, and while she loves to sing, her enthusiasm is only surpassed by her lack of tone, so pop stardom is out too (though, having said that, most pop stars lip sync nowadays don't they, so maybe that should be listed as a possibility).

A teacher? Now, that can only be a good thing. She's intelligent, way ahead of her peers, loves telling people what to do, and enjoys marking her brother's homework, She could definitely become a teacher. A spy is maybe not so easily achievable, but still possible. She's definitely got the whole sneaky side of things covered at any rate. Okay, a spy may be a dubious dream, but it is definitely far more realistic than a princess.

Of course, the favoured choice of career is the fashion designer. I don't know whether it's a generation thing (which makes me feel really old, by the way), but when I was eight I had absolutely no idea what was fashionable and what wasn't (I probably still don't, actually). But Ellie is very firm when it comes to what she likes and doesn't like. Thankfully she has to wear school uniform, or heaven knows how much money I'd have to spend on clothes. Her outfits are perfectly colour-co-ordinated, and she point-blank refuses to wear certain things if they make her look 'silly'. Honestly, if she could have seen what I wore when I was her age, she would have disowned me.

My son, on the other hand, is both very vague on what he wants to do, but also specific. He definitely wants to work on films, but that could be anything from being an actor, a stunt man, or even a director. He's always been a film nut, and he zeroed in on all of the film and media courses that are available for him to study next year for his G.C.S.E.'s. I'm just thankful that his fabulous new school has the facilities to offer these kinds of courses, with the added bonus that several of them are assessed by coursework and practical exams.  I'm pretty sure he'll sail through most of the courses, especially because he'll get to make a short film in one of them, and study disaster movies in another. Honestly, these courses could not be more perfect for him, and I'm really pleased that he can study something that is both fun and catered to help him achieve his dream of working in the film business.

And me? When I was seriously picking my career options, I wanted to be a nursery teacher first, and work in the advertising world second. I've always loved making up slogans and just basically messing around with words, and little kids have always been a weakness with me too. Of course, I dropped out of school during the first term of the sixth form (year 12 as it is now), and have only ever worked as a sales assistant, but do you know what, I'm almost glad that I did drop out. Working with the public on and off for 15 years has meant that I have probably interacted with every type of person on the planet. It's these different personalities that help me when it comes to writing. I may not remember people's names, or even base a character on a particular person, but from observing lots of weird and wonderful people over the years, I have received an education that isn't provided in any school in the world. I'm not educated in the true sense of the word, but I'm world-wise, and when it comes to writing novels, that can only be a good thing.

So, what about you? When you were young and innocent, what did YOU want to be?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

The Best Laid Plans....

Psst! Don't faint from shock, but it looks like there might be a blog today! *gasps* I'm not holding my breath though, because every time I've tried to write my blog this week, something has cropped up. I'm not dancing 'till I get to the end of this post. *nods firmly*

I seriously cannot believe that it is the 19th of December. This whole year has flown by, but December itself seems to have all gotten blurred together. One minute it was December the 1st, and now we are well over half way through the month. I've done nothing but scrub, polish, sweep, mop, vacuum, wrap presents, write cards out, sooth excited kids, shop and just generally run around like a crazy chicken for the last two weeks. And this year was supposed to be calmer because I am actually fairly organized!

Anywho, I am going to try and blog about an actual subject today, and hopefully I can get it done before the kids wake up (they are both still sleeping, even though it is just past 9am - yay!).

Ugh! I typed the above almost an hour ago! As soon as I typed 'yay', my daughter came into the room and I've been Ellied for the last 45 minutes. I shouldn't moan though, as the fact that I was Ellied so badly is because she's not very well, poor thing. She's got that awful stomach bug that's flying around, and she's most upset that she is ill because it is interfering with the Birthday Excitement (two more sleeps!).  Actually, I had planned to blog last night because the hubby was out, but because Ellie was ill my plans were scuppered.

Anyway, daughter is now snuggled up in my bed watching the Disney Channel, and son is eating his breakfast (yes, he has now joined the waking world also), so I shall endeavor to continue today's blog. Now, where was I? Oh yes, a subject.


*thinks some more*

*brain begins to hurt*

Aha! I know! (Actually I don't know, but I'm hoping that by typing 'I know!' I may prod my brain into thinking of something).

Since typing the above, the phone has rung (you see what I mean by things getting in the way all the time?). Another bloody sales call. *glares at phone* Still, as annoying as they are, I am thankful that the phone interrupted my blog, because I definitely have a subject to ramble about now. Issallgood like, innit?

Bloody sales calls. I get them about six times a day. And it's not restricted to the phone either, I get people knocking my door too. And every time I go shopping, I get pestered by people trying to get me to join the RAC or the AA (I don't have a car, and I can't drive, for duck's sake!!). 

Door Knockers.

When I say 'Door Knockers', I am not referring to actual knockers (or even knockers, which is a slang term for boobs), but to those people that knock your door armed with clipboards and an anorak.  Nine times out of ten, they are trying to sell me double glazing. *rolls eyes* Honestly, if I had the money to replace my decrepit windows, don't you think I would have done it by now? And seriously, do you expect me to have a spare few grand in December? I think not. I don't have a spare tenner half the time, never mind anything else.

Then there are the Jehovah's Witnesses. Now, I have to be careful here because I don't want to give offence, but honestly, I really hate it when Jehovah's Witnesses knock my door and give me one of their leaflets. I am not, nor ever have been, a religious person. I'm not actively against religion, and think that everyone is entitled to believe in whatever they choose, but I hate it when people try to ram it down my throat. Jehovah's Witnesses are the worst culprits. You don't see any other religious community sending out their followers on door-to-door converting missions, do you? You don't get people knocking your door and asking you to praise Allah or some such thing. But Jehovah's Witnesses are scarily frequent in their attempts to convert the masses. And do you know what the most annoying thing is? They're always so nice about it. They knock your door and smile warmly when you open it, then they gently place a leaflet in your hands and invite you to their next meeting. Even when you say that you really don't think that you'll be converting any time soon, they still smile warmly, and you feel like a heel for dismissing them.

Phone Calls.

Like I said, I get about six a day. The hottest subject at the moment is free holidays. Apparently, my phone number has been randomly selected and is now in the running for an all expenses paid trip to somewhere very exotic. The most extraordinary thing about this is the fact that my phone number has been 'randomly selected' about three times a week for the last month. Bloody hell, how lucky am I? *snorts*

The next hottest subject is insurance. *rolls eyes* Life insurance, home insurance, buildings and contents insurance, car insurance, pet insurance, accidental injury insurance.... you name it, and I've had somebody try to sell it to me. Bugger off, insurance sales people! I. Am. Not. Interested.

Level with the insurance people are the utility sales people. Don't knock my door and don't phone me any more, please, I'm begging you. Yes, your sales pitch is very good, and yes, you are currently the cheapest on the market for your gas and electricity supplies, but I still don't want to know. You may be cheapest at the moment, but by the time the supply gets switched over and I have re-arranged my Direct Debits, six to eight weeks will have passed, your prices will be on the higher end of the market, and my original supplier will be phoning me and asking me to come back because THEY are now the cheapest on the market.

(*snorts profusely* I just had another sales call while I was typing that. Talk about speak of the devil....)

I think I'll end it there. Honestly, I've been trying to do the blog for almost two hours now, and all I've had are interruptions (I just got Ellied again, apparently 'funny things are happening to me mum, like my eyes going dizzy and my leg vibrating' [don't ask]). 

I was going to mention that I should be able to blog tomorrow, even though it's a dreaded Sunday, but although I am still mentioning it, I am not promising. My plans have gone awry (*winks at Tami*) all week, so it's best not to bank on anything going smoothly....

Ooh, almost forgot! I have written a blog - finally! - so I have to dance, don't I?

There, never let it be said that I don't dance when I've said I would.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Here Pussy Pussy....

Oh, I am tired. It's exhausting, this 'being a cat' business. One minute you are asleep, the next you hear,

"Puss! Puss- puss!"

Really, when you imagine that we are rolling our eyes, we probably are.

"Puss! Here, puss-puss!"

No! I want to sleep! I will not catch your pesky mouse. I caught one only yesterday, and brought it to you. What did you do? You wrinkled your nose and told me to "Shoo!"

Silly humans.

Yes, now I am sniffing with disdain, you did not imagine it.


No! I am stretching lazily and ignoring you. 'Shoo' yourself!


Ha! Gotcha! I bet you thought that the title would mean I was being all Taffish again, but I fooled you, oh yes I did!


Well, maybe I didn't fool you at all, and maybe it is only ME that has a dirty mind....

Anywho, I've been a busy bee all day again today, and I'm not sure how much time I have on the PC before the hubby gets home, so I thought I'd share a drabble that I wrote last year. Hence the pussy post. In actual fact, the image that inspired the drabble wasn't the picture above, but I decided to share a photo of my own pussy instead. My pussy is in fact my third child (or maybe fourth if you count the hubby). I cwch (that's how we say it in Wales) her like a baby, and talk to her in that special voice reserved for children under the age of one.

I speak to her, and she speaks to me. Really. She honestly does speak to me. And sometimes she doesn't even have to utter a meow, she'll talk with her eyes and let me know exactly what she wants. It was Belle (my pussy's name) who inspired me to include a talking cat in my NaNo novel. Okay, so the cat in my novel, Muse, actually speaks with a human voice (which quite obviously my own cat does not), but in looks and character, Muse is the carbon copy of my own feline friend.

I've always been a cat person. Growing up, my family always had at least one cat in the household. Some we unfortunately lost prematurely due to the two biggest worries that a cat owner stresses over - traffic and wandering. But we had the one cat for seventeen years. Now, Fluffy (highly original name, I know *rolls eyes*) was really part of the family. She survived countless house moves and was treated like a human more often than not. When we lost her we were devastated. For those people that don't have family pets, its seems strange to say that we really grieve when a pet dies, but we do. I think I cried more when Fluffy died than I did when I lost my grampy. Of course, I only ever really saw my grampy about twice a year, so we were never what you would call close, but still, it seems strange to think that I was more upset at losing my cat.

My current pussy, Belle, gave me a scare a couple of months ago when she disappeared for two nights. Normally she rarely ventures out, and on the odd occasion when she does, she's back in under an hour. I was convinced she had been attacked by the neighborhood dogs and/or had been run over. I was on pins for the whole time she was gone, and cried buckets of tears when I thought no-one was looking. Thankfully she came home, none the worse for wear. *wipes brow* She was also completely oblivious to the stress she had caused (I know, she's a cat, and therefore doesn't think like we humans do, but still, you'd have thought she would have at least given me an extra cuddle by way of apology). She strolled in, ate her fill at her dish, and sauntered into the living room so that she could zonk out on her favorite chair. And do you think she would let me make a fuss of her? Not bloody likely.

Still, that's cats for you, eh? As long as they get fed and have a warm place to snooze, they really don't care about us. I suspect that they see us as their pets actually. They're very crafty, those cats. *nods wisely*

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Venting with Vodka

Still pissed off with the world at large? Check. Drunk several too many vodkas? Check. Sat at the computer past midnight? Check. Typing away when you should be in bed? Check. Using spellcheck? Am I duck as like.

I seriously feel a spate of Taffing coming on. Not only am I Scrooge's long-lost something-or-other, I am also Broke In That December Way that hits us all, and seriously contemplating whether I should cancel Christmas next year. Or maybe just tell everyone that they can have a gift card (even better, a gift card for the most pants shop on record. Which would be Tesco or some such thing I suppose). I mean honestly, is the sytress really worth it?

Okay, I LOVE the bit where I get to see my kids' faces lighting up on Christmas morning, but other than that, gift-buying should be banned. Kids only, no adults allowed. And no ducking cards either, because after writing out close to a hundred cards once again, I am sick and ducking tired of writing them

I start off really well, with full 'To so-and-so, hope you have a lovely Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year, lots of love from blah blah blah'. Once I hit the fifty mark, it's turned into 'To so-and-so,  -UNDERLINE CARD MESSAGE - love blah blah blah'. I just can't be arsed writing the full amount out, especially when my hand is killing me and because I have left it so late, I need to write them all out in one hit.

Then there's the present-wrapping. It's no joke when (if you're like me) you do it in two or three long sessions (and that is in no way meant to be smutty. I seriously am in no fit mood to be smutting all over the place). Thirty-eight presents I wrapped last week. In one morning. Yesterday it was another twenty. I have a few things I'm waiting for delivery, and when they come I can add them to the last of the gifts and wrap them up in the third of the Wrapping Sessions From Hell.

And it IS hell when a) you're 7-year-old wants to help, b) your cat thinks its playtime at the ducking circus and c) your ducking sellotape refuses to unstick (and when it DOES unstick, it only peels diagonally).

And if my flipping cat dives into my Christmas Tree one more time, I'm bloody taking it down.

Don't mind me, I'm just a whiny drunken scroogy bitch on a venting thingie. (Ugh, take out the scroogy paty and I could be Bella Boring Bitch From Twilight Swann. *shudders violently*)

How're we doinf for typos? I should probably check, but I can't be arsed.

Anyway, venting aside, I HATE people who moan, don't you? Doesn't it really irritate you when you phone someone for a chat, or visit someone for a coffee, and suddenly they thimk you're Claire Ducking Raynor, Agony Aunt Extrordionaire? (That's definitely spelled worng, er wrong (caught that one!). I mean, we're ALL ducking miserable about something or other, so do we really NEED other's people's crap on top of our own?

Yeah, alcohol makes me selfish. Sorry about that. Actually, no I'm NOT sorry about that. Sometines it's better to let it all out, youknowwhatImean? Heck, if it offends, then don't read on. *shrugs* It's not like I'm talking about anyone in particular, I'm just being general here. And honestly, I bet a lot of people would say the same thing. Selfish is bad for the most part, but a little bit doesn't hurt now and again.

And I just became the thing I hate the most. A person who moans at unsuspecting listeners (or readers, as the case may be. Or maybe no-one, as most people will have closed the screen by now and probably haven't got this far down the page anyway).

Gosh, I love vodka. Makers you say anything without feeling bad about it. Im currently mostly thinking that what I've typed is nothing much in the way of badness, but tomorrow morning is another thing. Or today morning, actually, because it is now the 13th December.

Lordy, I can already hear my daughter yelling 'only nine sleeps to my birthday!!' *dies* And it's Sunday tomorow (is that two 'r's oir two 'm's?)

I'm going to lurk on facebook now, mostly because I can't think of anything else to say, but also because I have a feeling that I've said far too much (most of which is largly nonsense(

Ah well.

(Still no pictures because of that virius thingie. Which is probably good because I don't know what sort of pictures would go with this complete and utter pantsy-type post thingie anyway).

Saturday, 12 December 2009


I've recently hit the point where I am constantly muttering under my breath at the tragedy that is being laptopless. It's awful, it really is. I have a ton of stuff I could (and should) be doing, but I can't attempt even a tenth of it because I am laptopless. Sure, there are two working PCs in the house, but I can't get to them most of the time. My son's is available during school hours, but I am not. The other PC is largely unavailable at all hours because not only does it belong to the hubby, but it is also the main TV. Bugger bugger bugger.

My dream of blogging every single day is currently on pause, not to be resumed until at least January (or, even worse, February *dies*). But! I will endeavor to get on as much as I can. In the meantime, I can at least blog about what I was going to blog about yesterday and the day before. A recap, as it were.

Thursday's blog was going to be all about Wednesday evening's trip to my son's school. I had all sorts of things to say, mainly about the drama teacher who in fact was MY drama teacher all those years ago. It was incredibly strange coming face to face with the person who, as horrible teenagers, me and my friends used to take the mick out of on a daily basis. Poor guy. And then there was the collective (and very juvenile) snort that passed through the crowd of parents when the presentation screen told us to visit Mr. Cockfield for further details on....hmm, I can't remember the actual subject. It should say something about the parents as a whole that THEY laughed at the name while their children didn't even bat an eyelid. *shifty*

If I had blogged yesterday, it would no doubt have been about my horrible day of spending far too much money on presents for people who probably won't even like them. I'm Scrooge's long-lost daughter, or at least a prodigal niece or something. While I love giving presents, and love seeing people's faces light up when they (hopefully) get what they've always wanted, I can't get past the slight (okay, more than slight) horror that seeps in whenever I hand over another crisp twenty pound note. Honestly, it's like that scene from 'Ghost' when Whoopi Goldberg (whom I've always secretly wished would marry Peter Cushion, just for snorts) is gritting her teeth as she hands over that check to the collecting nuns. Not only that, but I always get home and discover that I have bought a few things that I have no idea what to do with. *scratches head* I think the Scrooge-y stress makes me temporarily forgetful, and I end up having gifts which technically weren't bought with anyone in mind at all.

Today's blog? Well, seeing as it is still, in fact, today, technically I shouldn't have to recap. I should write a full and detailed blog. But I can't. And do you know why? Because the subject that I'm blogging about is seriously not worth more than one paragraph.

Yup, I took the kids to see the new Twilight movie today. *is still shuddering* Lordy. To be fair, it was better than the first effort, but that's the only nice thing I can say about it. Bella Swann has to be the most boring, whiny,middle-of-the-road, selfish and BORING (it needed saying twice) female heroine in the history of female heroines. Just what the hell do the (allegedly) 'gorgeous' Edward Cullen and Jacob (didn't care enough to listen for his surname) see in such a pale and pathetic character?  The whole thing made me want to vomit. Yeuch. Even worse, I actually paid £35 altogether for the 'privilege' to watch it on the big screen. It's enough to make anyone sick. *shudders some more* Team Edward or Team Jacob? Team I Couldn't Give  A Flying Duck. *nods firmly*

Thankfully, I have an evening of vodka lined up, and I am planning to drown my sorrows. Honestly, being laptopless AND having to watch utter tripe and PAY for it calls for at least a full bottle of vodka as far as I am concerned.

Oh, and there's no pictures today because apparently downloading pictures may (or may not, we don't know) have caused a very annoying batch of Trojan viruses to attack our PC on Thursday. Better safe than sorry, especially as I'm not entirely sure if the hubby has put the safety stuff back on again. On the plus side, I don't have to upload a picture from 'Twilight', which isn't a bad thing at all.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Arrrggghhh!!! #2

I think I may have used 'arrrggghhh' as a title before, so to be on the safe side I have added a '#2' on the end, and made the 'argh' extra long. Not that you needed to know that, but there we are.

Anyway, am currently arrrggghhhing fairly frequently. Am still bloody waiting for the cash machine people to give me back the £200 that they stole from me last week (okay, so they didn't steal it technically, but that's how it felt). Am also trying to juggle my cash so that I have enough to buy remaining presents by the end of this week. I really, really want to have every-one's gifts out of the way by Friday because I am going to be rushing around like an idiot as from next week, so I don't need the hassle of gift-stress.

Of course, none of you are remotely interested in any of this.

Anywho, have just finished writing 50 plus cards out this morning, and have posted almost all of the overseas ones. Of course, I highly doubt that everyone will get them in time, because of crappy Royal Mail. I should have sent them at least two weeks ago, but NaNo made me forget all sorts of things like that.

And the other day I spent hours wrapping presents up while the kids were at school (38 presents to be exact, and only about five were normal-shaped and easy to do, while the others came in shapes that I don't think are normally in existence at any other time of year).  Also, my cat was apparently under the impression that the sellotape was a football, and that the wrapping paper's sole purpose in life was in fact not to wrap, but to provide hours of slippery slidey fun for domesticated pussies.

And I know you didn't want to know any of that either.

Am also arrrggghhhing because I still don't have any regular computer access. Both of my deceased laptops will no doubt never be resurrected, and so I am hoping that I will be able to scrape enough cash together to buy a shiny new laptop in the January sales. Have dutifully requested cash instead of gifts from close family members and hubby, and will have to find the remaining needed myself (possibly I may not feed my kids for one week, but I'm sure they won't mind, after all they can surely survive on Cadbury's selection boxes and bags of Haribo for a while, yes?)

On another note, I am not arrrggghhhing over the fact that I won't have to take kiddie-winkles to the cinema tonight. The son's school requires my presence for 'Options Evening', where we can discuss which subjects my son would like to take for his GCSEs next year. I can now happily put off the nightmare that is watching Twilight: New Moon until Saturday, with the added bonus that I have arranged a girly evening that very same day, thus I will be able to drown the inevitable Twilight gloominess in a bottle of vodka or two. On the downside, am slightly traumatized by the fact that my ickle first-born is soon to be sitting GCSE's. Where the heck did the last thirteen years go? *cries*

Lastly I am arrrggghhhing about the fact that I am now being Ellied almost every second of every day. Daughter is most excited at approaching birthday (21st December) and is not letting me forget it.

"Twelve sleeps to my birthday!"

"Don't forget, mum, I'll need a chocolate birthday cake for school AND a lovely princessy-pink one for home. Or maybe a High School Musical one, or a Hannah Montana one. Ooh, maybe they have Camp Rock? But definitely NOT another chocolate one, because they HAVE to be different, okay?"

"Mum, how many sleeps again until my birthday?"

"Mum, when my friends come over for pizza and a movie, you WILL remember to light my birthday candles won't you? On the princessy-pink/High School Musical/Hannah Montana/Camp Rock cake. You know."

"Now mum, remember you promised that I could wear my own clothes to school instead of my school uniform on my BIRTHDAY. Can we go choose my clothes now? And we need to decide how I'm wearing my hair."


It's all fun....

Monday, 7 December 2009

Leaving things half-finis...

No, there isn't a typo in the title of today's blog, it was an attempt at humour. I know you may not believe this, because a)I am a Typo Queen and b), well, it's not really funny. But it's the truth, so help me Aragorn (that wasn't a typo either, though to be fair it would be pretty difficult to to have 'Aragorn' as a typo for 'God'. Having said that, if you have Aragorn on the mind, anything is possible, so maybe it could have been a typo after all). Hmm.

Anyway,  what I wanted to talk about was my very bad habit of leaving things half-finished. This, I should also tell you, goes hand in hand with leaving things to the last minute. And also hand in hand (you may have to swap hands to achieve required handiness, or borrow a friend's extremities, you decide), with the tendency to dither, waste time, and generally procrastinate.

On Leaving Things half-finished....

These things could be anything, though then usually tend to be writing projects. *shifty* I have - wonder of wonders- actually completed no less than three longer length fan fictions. Now, three is quite a nice number, but when you consider that I have been writing fanfic for over four years now, three isn't an awful lot (and in fact, the very first fiction that I ever wrote and completed was short enough to be definitely dicey on the classification of 'longer fanfic').

To put it into perspective, I currently have two 'ongoing' (and I use that term loosely) fanfictions. One was started in November of 2007 and was supposed to have been finished within two to three months. *pulls familiar shifty face* The other, probably my personal favorite in terms of writing for it, was started way back in March of 2006 (you all know how shifty I am looking now, right?). The first fic should have been finished at least a year ago. I stipulated two to three months because I thought it would be fairly short, but I ended up writing more scenes that I initially intended, so the plot became too much for a shorter length fic. Still, two years later, I am only half way through....

My second fic, though, was always meant to be longer. Having a extremely soft spot for Remus Lupin (of Harry Potter fame), I decided to write his life story based on the little canon that we knew about him. I have him at nine years old at the start, and the plan was (still is, in fact) to take him right the way up until his death.  The really good thing with this story is that I get to be evil. *nods* Remus Lupin is definitely a victim, and not only because if his Furry Little Problem (er, for the few of you who haven't read these books, our Remmy is a werewolf, bless him *hugs Remmy*). The poor soul is also without parents, not to mention virtually friendless, and without any means to support himself in a world that categorically hates werewolves (poor thing, I mean honestly, it's not like werewolves are dangerous, is it? )

Still, even though I intended the story to be long-lasting, we are now three and a half years later, and Remus is still only 14. *does the shifty foot shuffle* It's also a mark of how long I have been writing this fic that the banner actually has my original HPANA username on there (complete with obligatory typo), when I actually changed my username over two years ago. *snorts*

And then there are the three fictions that I abandoned completely.  My bad. Very bad. It's an absolute pain in the arse when you get involved in a story only to have the author give up on it half way through. I KNOW this, yet I have still committed this cardinal sin.

The thing is, it's not that I actively choose to abandon these stories, and it's not that I don't want to finish them, because I do, very much so. Obviously I am to blame, because I can't exactly blame it on someone else, but sometimes it really isn't my fault, I swear. Scout's Honour (okay, I'm not, nor ever have been, a scout, but you know what I mean). A good 50% of the blame can actually be apportioned to things that are out of my control. Lack of computer (this is the biggie), lack of time (some months more than others), and lack of ideas (you can't force a muse to appear, even with bribery, I tried) all contribute to the lack of writing. I could even add stress and depression to this, because I am a very up and down person who can experience quite scary mood-swings on a regular basis. The highs are very good, because they make me a little hyper, thus more inclined to write, but the lows are not at all conductive to story-telling.

On the other hand, there is also 50% worth of blame that still needs to be dished out, and I can't deny that this half of the problem is all down to me. You would be amazed at the amount of things I could find to do that would mean I could accidentally-forget-on-purpose that I am supposed to be writing. I've even been known to get the iron and ironing board out in order to put off that update that should have been written several days ago. *needs to have the word 'shifty' tattooed across my forehead).

I suppose that technically, it really isn't my fault as such. It's always been in my nature to dither and put things off, and it's a very hard habit to break. I have small breakthroughs now and again (NaNoWriMo was the biggest breakthrough EVER), but they are few and far between.  I'm trying to do better though.

Only, I've sort of noticed that this month is not going so well. I've not written anything at all in the last week, and I haven't managed to keep up with my blog.  Still, this is mostly because December is such a mad, mad month, and also because the hubby is currently off work so my computer time is severely hampered. I'm not too worried about it in actual fact. My fingers may be idle, but my brain is whizzing with activity, and I have managed to jot down plot ideas for the next two books in my proposed Fairy Tales series.  (Note that once again, my original 'original', Soul Identitiy, is on the back burner. One year I may actually write the darn thing, but seeing as at the moment my brain can only conjure chick-litty stuff, I'm letting that one stay in the dusty attic which is situated in the top left-hand corner of my brain for the time being).

Oh, and I forgot! I haven't 'not written anything at all' this month after all! I churned out two Christmas drabbles the other day. *grins* There, that's not so bad, is it?

Saturday, 5 December 2009

It's all pants, I say! PANTS!

Around a month ago I was commenting on something (can't remember what exactly), and I said something along the lines of 'it's pants'. 'Pants' is something that I have been saying for well over twenty years, usually to describe something that is awful, crap, stupid or pathetic. And it's not just me, a lot of people round here use 'pants' as a word to describe something that is incredibly blah.

It got me thinking though. I mean, just as there are a wide range of pants to be worn, there is also a wide range of things that could be described as 'pants'.

Over in America, pants are trousers, so I don't think the point really gets across as well as it should. But over here, pants are underwear. Generally, pants are what we call men's underwear, while the fabulous word for women's unmentionables is 'knickers'.  I love that word, 'knickers'. I use it almost as much as I use 'pants'. It's just funny to say (or it is to me, at any rate).

Anywho, knickers aside (the best thing for them, really *winks*), I'm talking about pants, so I'll get back to it. I thought I'd try to categorize real pants against the things that we use them to describe (if that makes sense).

First we have the y-fronts. Now, to me, this is probably the most commonly used comparison when we are describing something that is particularly lame, because let's face it, y-fronts are the most boring underwear on the planet. The y-front brings to mind middle-aged men with pot bellies, belly button fluff, and string vests. *shudders* At the moment, I am thinking specifically about y-fronts when I say that I think the Twilight phenomena is complete and utter pants.

Next up, we have boxer shorts. Boxer shorts are required attire for males over the age of four, but under the age of 21. They're comfortable, and don't have to be removed for various activities (great for the younger males, who may need the loo in a hurry, and fantastic for the older males, who like easy navigation for an entirely different reason altogether). Boxer shorts are, in fact, probably the perfect underwear choice for males all over the world. For descriptive purposes, I would be thinking of boxer shorts if I were using 'pants' to describe a movie or a book that perhaps used a tried and tested structure in order to tell the story (taking the easy way out, as it were).

Lastly (for the men, that is. There are probably more forms of underwear for the males of our species, but being a woman I have limited knowledge), we have briefs. Now, briefs are the choice for males past the age of getting it out for all and sundry, so it is difficult to give an age range. Some men reach this level of maturity in their early twenties, others are in their forties before they decide they've sown their final oats. Then there are the men who don't like any kind of planting at all (usually these are the men who wear y-fronts), and the men who have the need to garden for their entire lives (chronic boxer short wearers). So brief wearers are definitely hard to generalise. Anyway, briefs are the pants that I think of when I describe everyday things that are stupid/lame/crud etc. Like when I've been waiting an hour for a bus, and I say 'Cardiff Bus are pants'. Or if I buy a sack of potatoes and they boil away to nothing when I cook them (what a pants bag of spuds they were!). It makes sense that you can't generalise the items you would describe as the brief form of pants, seeing as you can't generalise the type of man who wears them, yes? (Of course it doesn't make sense at all, but seeing as this blog post is definitely pants (of the boxer short variety), then I'm not really worried).

So there we have it. A quick (pants) blog about how and why I use 'pants' as a word to describe anything from bad movies to crappy potatoes.  As a last thought though, I'd like to add that I think pants are pants too. I mean, honestly, what is the point of them? The y-front wearers would do much better without them (it would improve their image no end), the boxer short wearers don't need them (they want easy access, and surely easier access would be better achieved without wearing any pants at all), and the brief wearers are so middle-of-the-road when it comes to their choice, that surely it would suit their Not Fussy attitude just as much if they chose to go 'Commando' instead.

Pants? Why bother?

Friday, 4 December 2009

Thank God for the Weekend!!

Lordy! Lordy lordy lordy! What a week I've had! My aim since I started this blog has always been to blog each and every day. Last month, the NaNoWriMo madness threatened my plans, but I managed to blog almost every day, with only one day falling into the abyss. Great! Wonderful! If I can write a 50,000 word novel and continue to blog at the same time, normal months should be a piece of piss (as we Taffies like to say), right?


Let me recap on my week.


After said NaNo madness was finished (a day early too, did I mention that?), you can probably imagine the state of my house.  Consequently I spent a large portion of my day scrubbing, vacuuming, polishing, and washing laundry. On the plus side, I did manage to blog (even if it was only an excuse to post droolworthy pictures of the lovely, lovely Jensen Ackles). *shifty*


My mother could be called in at any time now for surgery, and as she helps out for a few old ladies, I promised I'd take over while she was in hospital and recuperating. The whole day was spent (once again) scrubbing, vacuuming, polishing and washing laundry. I just made it back in time to pick my daughter up from school, and then I had to stay for the Christmas fete (which was far too early in the month in my opinion). On the plus side, I managed to squeeze in a blog, and I am now also the proud owner of Christmas tree baubles made by my daughter (one of which has a picture of her inside). Nice!


This is where I dipped. Nightmare of a day, Wednesday. I spent all flipping morning at my bank trying to sort out the gigantic mess caused by a faulty cash machine which not only ate my card for no good reason, but insisted on saying that I had received the £200 that I had requested, when in fact I'd received sweet F.A. After several hours of stress, I was informed that I could have a temporary overdraft to cover my needs, as the missing £200 would take around three weeks to go back into my account. *mutters darkly* Of course, I now have to wait for the new card  (which arrived this morning) to become active, which is imperative as I still have a wad of pressies to order online before next Wednesday if I am to have any hope of them arriving in time for Christmas.

On the plus side, I had some nice news from my home site, HPANA. Voting was scarce this year, but regardless of the poor turn out, I was very pleased to discover that I won the Best Short Story of 2009, with my Pages from the Past  fanfic. Yay! A little cheer was nice, but the stress over the card situation sort of stole some of the joy. I was definitely in no mood to ramble, as I had no wish to unleash several paragraphs of venting on my poor, unsuspecting readers.


It was quite a nice day, actually. I had two lovely emails from Burrowing buddies Tami and Leanne (and also from another online buddy, Kim), offering critique on my NaNo novel, along with some very encouraging words. *feels all warm and fuzzy*. My sister was visiting for the day, and my step-daughter also came to say hello (and stayed long enough to be Ellied by my daughter for several hours *lights candle for Amy*). My house is tiny, therefore we were jam-packed. By the time the kids were in bed and the visitors had left, it was late. Then hubby watched a film, which meant that by the time I got to the PC, it was way past 11pm and I was flagging. Hence, no blog for the second day in a row Erk.


Today I scrubbed, vacuumed, polished and washed laundry again. Only this time I was working very, very fast, and finding all sorts of extra jobs to do too. Why? Because on what was probably the coldest day of the year so far, my fire conked out. Yellow flames, soot residue, possible carbon monoxide etc, etc. I was running around like an idiot in an effort to keep warm. My house is so cold that I can safely say that I would have been warmer if I had stood in the street. Seriously. *shivers* Thankfully, the man from Swalec came and sorted everything out for me, and I now have heat (as well as expert knowledge on his cat, who is just recovering from a thyroid problem apparently).

Anywho, that's been my week. Many ups and downs, with little to no time on the computer. I'm just thankful that this didn't happen last week, or my NaNo would never have been completed. At least, that's what I'm telling myself; you have to find a silver lining somewhere, don't you?

P.S If you have a spare moment, please check out The Burrow. Our 2009 Advent Calender is now live! And it is fabulous, even if I say so myself. *nods*

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Seasonal Song Silliness

When December brings the stress
And your cash gets in a mess
It's put a great big frown, on everybody's face
If you try to make ends meet
When you're buying your friends a treat
  Cause you spend too much
You know that sweet Santa Claus is far away

Well I wish it could be normal, every day
With the kids not asking for gifts, for stuff to play
Oh, I wish it could be normal, every day
Let the stress be held at bay.

When we're browsing through the shops
With the list that never stops
And your empty purse is gonna make you cry all night
Now the mothballs, they appear
And they make you crave a beer
So we'll head to the pub

And we'll stay till the brawlers start a fight

Well I wish it could be normal, every day
With the kids not asking for gifts, for stuff to play
Oh, I wish it could be normal, every day
Let the stress be held at bay.

When December brings the stress (When December brings the stress)
And your cash gets in a mess(And your cash gets in a mess)
It's put a great big frown, on everybody's face
So when Christmas brings that doom (Christmas brings that doom)
Of the kids wishing for the moon (wishing for the moon)
I'll send a note to that man in the red suit
Asking for a cure for stress

Well I wish it could be normal, every day
With the kids not asking for gifts, for stuff to play

Oh I wish it could be normal every day
Let the stress be held at bay

Okay you lot - take it!

Well, I wish it could be normal, every day (normal day)
With the kids not asking for gifts, for stuff to play (Oh-oh)

Oh I wish it could be normal every day
Let the stress be held at bay

Why don't you give your love for normal?

When December brings the stress)
When December brings the stress)
When December brings the stress)
When December brings the stress)
When December brings the stress)
(When December brings the stress)