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

Monday, 30 November 2009

*is drooling over Dean Winchester*


It's the last day of November, hence the last of my asterisked blog titles. It seems only fitting that I should blog about one of my mojos, because asteriskisms tend to come out in full force when we talk about our man/woman candy. There are a multitude of words that we can asterisk when we come across pictures of our mojos. *nods firmly*


For example, for the picture on the right, you could have:

*drools*

*melts*

*mind wanders*


But there are different levels of asteriskisms when you are dealing with mojos. The above is pretty standard stuff, but aside from the general hotness that is Jensen Ackles, the picture is nothing out of the ordinary. For the next level of asteriskisms, you need something a little more inspiring.


Now, it doesn't have to be anything crude, or even naked (although that idea does rather appeal), it just has to have that little something extra that inspires just a wee bit more drooling. The picture on the left may seem like another fairly ordinary picture, but don't be fooled. Our boy has that twinkle in his eyes that tells you right away that he is a Bad Boy, and you know how most ladies love a bad boy. On the asteriskism front, we are now:

*fans self*

*drools excessively*

*is thinking about taming strategies*




Level Three obviously needs the picture to be taken up a notch or two on the hotness front, so a little nudity is a must. Nothing over the top, just a little tease, of course. Sometimes leaving things covered is far more sexy than out and out nakedness. Here we have the traditional Chest Shot, guaranteed to invoke slightly more naughty asteriskisms. Now we have:





*licks lips*

*swoons*

*is thinking about full body massages*










Level five (no, I'm not deluded, I can count) is the Level of Smut, which I won't get in to here, but before Smutty Level Five, we get lovely Level Four. *winks* Level Four is, by the laws of inevitability, sexier than Level Three, so we need a little bit more than a Chest Shot. The example I'm using is the Butt Cleavage. *grins innocently* Gone are the playful *drools* and *licks lips*, we are now reduced to:

*pulls out whip*

*drags to dungeon*

*has multiple asteriskisms*

So yes, mojos definitely bring out a good variety of asteriskisms, wouldn't you say? And these aren't strictly limited to the ladies either. You men can whip out your asteriskisms as and when the fancy takes you. *coughs*  Make sure you insert a little innuendo too, and you'll be laughing all the way to the imaginary dungeon....

Sunday, 29 November 2009

*is a NaNo winner*



So I guess you probably noticed that I didn't blog yesterday. Well. I had a BRILLIANT excuse! *nods* Friday morning I still had ten thousand words to write if I wanted to complete this year's NaNoWriMo. I was doomed - well, I thought I was doomed at any rate. I'm pretty much all written out for the weekend, but rather than miss two days of blogging, I figured I post all of my status messages from the last two days or so. This covers two really good angles - one, I get to fill a blog, therefore only having my Missed Blog total stay a magnificant '1'. Two, posting my status updates from the last two days will probably explain what happened far better than any amount of rambling that I could possibly come up with. So, without further ado, I present...

Life Through A Facebook Lense (aka posting drivel to fill my blog).

Tara Smith  would
Fri at 07:43

Tara Smith  would like to write 5,000 words today. About as likely as winning the Euromillions tonight (seeing as I haven't entered it), but still, would LIKE to....
Fri at 07:44

Tara Smith  needs to give her daughter breakfast now....
Fri at 08:03

Tara Smith  *is Taffing again*
Fri at 19:43  (accompanied by blog link)

Tara Smith Latest NaNo excerpt (as in wrote in the last half an hour).
Yesterday at 00:30  (accompanied by Facebook Note)

Tara Smith  Hahaha, Ellie was cacking herself here.... it was hilarious! *is evil*
Yesterday at 01:13  (accompanied by photo of daughter trampoline-bungee-ing)


Tara Smith  Yay Tami!!!
Yesterday at 01:27 (accompanied by picture of high-fiving chickens)



Tara Smith  Lordy, I just found a half-decent piccy of myself in my friend's hubby's album! Crikey!
Yesterday at 02:36  (accompanied by link to said piccy)
 

Tara Smith  has checked her emails, done her NaNo sneak-peak duty as promised, cobbled together a drabble for The Burrow's advent calender, and gave the kids their breakfast. On to NaNo writing now, 9,097 words to go!
Yesterday at 10:15

Tara Smith  10 questions about your children....
Yesterday at 10:40  (obligatory procrastinating)

Tara Smith  7,896 words to go....
Yesterday at 11:47

Tara Smith  I LOVE themed parties! *steals pic*

Yesterday at 14:14  (more procrastinating, and accompanied by link to said piccy)

Tara Smith  Thanks hun!
Yesterday at 17:47   (accepting of Christmas card animation)


Tara Smith 6,876 words to go....
Yesterday at 18:20

Tara Smith  pussycat, pussycat, where have you been? I've been to Gretna to thwart a wicked queen (step-mother)......
Yesterday at 20:48

Tara Smith  Wicked step-mother thwarted, father saved, heroine on her way back to Cardiff, and 4,866 words to go!! *dances*
Yesterday at 22:02

Tara Smith  "Tara has written 47104 words so far for NaNo
WriMo 2009 ·" - And that's it for tonight, I'm all wrote
out. Only the grande finale to write now, which shall be done tomorrow, oh yes it shall.*nods* Only 2,896 words to go!! Woot!
15 hours ago

Tara Smith  is off to bed. Should have gone up an hour ago, but there we are....
14 hours ago


Tara Smith  1,088 words to go....
3 hours ago

Tara Smith Finished!!!! I wrote a freaking novel!! *faints*
2 hours ago

Tara Smith  Various positions open for readthroughs. The pay is crap (nil), you'll need to be able to decipher Tara-Typos (bad for the eyes), but on the good side, there are only 8 chapters*. (Admittedly, chapter 8 is sort of looong *coughsover30kcoughs*) Job open for selected time only, with priority for Burrowing buddies ;)
27 minutes ago

Tara Smith  For all my NaNo buddies and supporters - we kicked butt!! *glomps all*
22 minutes ago via iHeart  (Tara gave a Boom-Boom-Pow Heart to 29 friends.)

And that's the story of the last 48 hours..... see you tomorrow!!

Friday, 27 November 2009

*is teaching Taffisms*





Oi oi butts! Taffy Tara yer again, like, innit? I've tried to put it off, like, but iznogood. Evah since I blogged about Taffs the ovver week like, I've bin wanting to do anovver one. It's a bluddy nightmare, like, remembering to type Taffish, but itz well funny, so its worf the effort, like, innit?


I fort I'd try and teach me readers a little birrabou Taffisms, coz I only covvahed a tiny bit last time. Fer instance, like, I bluddy forgot allabou 'anallat'. A new reader pointed tha one out fer me, and she was well right, like, innit? I mean, I says it all the time I do. That's anovver one right there - I do.
We says 'I do' at the end of sentences like, don't we? I loves pizza I do. I likes choclut I do. Altogevver like. And we adds the eses at the ends of words like, too, innit.


And I forgot the sheep. That's a ducking crime and 'alf that is, coz even though we don't really like it, we Taffies are usually associated wif sheep. 'Sheep-shaggers', the rest of Britain calls us. Bluddy sheep-shaggers! It's sorta insultin like, to be honest, but we is stuck wif it now.

Anovver fing we always says like is 'then'. But we don't say it like you do, like, we says it at the end of sentences like, innit? Like, if we is phoning our clarts like, we don't say 'where are you?', we says 'where you to then?"  Izallgood.

Now, anovver fing I forgot the last time, was to explain abou clits, like. The fing is, we Kairdiff slags needed a word for each ovver. The boys were good, like, coz they called each ovver 'butt' or 'clart', but we girls were like, 'ang on, butt, we only got 'slags'! We wants anovver name, like, innit? So we fort, worrabou 'clit'? I mean, it's just as good as any ovver name like, innit? So all couples 'ave a clart and a clit. Youknowzitmakezsense (that's anovver word wif like lots of words togevver, like, an its one ov our faves too. Bangin', ain-it?).


Before I forgets again, like, there's one more Taffism I needs to tork to you abou. Now innaminute. That's righ, thats wot we says like. If me doorter says 'Mum, can I 'ave a packet of crips?' (cos we don't say 'crisps', we says 'crips'). I'll say 'You can 'ave some now innaminute'. Or if the clart asks me 'when is fooood gunna be ready?',  I'll say 'It'llbeready now innaminute'.  It's bluddy strange, I know, but that's just wot we does like, innit?


So that's a bit more abou Taffisms, but theres's like lots of ovver stuff to tork abou. The biggest fing I wanted to tell you was that you gorra wotch Taff Wars. Taff Wars is bangin, ducking awesome, like. They has a propa website like, too, but if you is lazy, like, you can search for them on Yootoob. They got lotsov epasodes on there, like, and they're like fullov swearin and rood words like, innit? Bluddy funny, they are, well wicked like, innit.

Lastly, I fort I'd share a few jokes, like. Just to give you an idea of what we Taffies are like, coz I'm tellin you now, butt, they is spot on, like, innit.


Wot do you call a Taff slag who wearz a white tracksuit?
A bride.

Wots the first question ov Quiz Night in yer local vallee pub?
Wot you looking at, butt?

Wot do you call a 30 yer old vallee girl?
Nan.

Wot's the most confoosing day ov the yer for Taffies?
Favver's Day.



And on that note, like, I fink itz best to leave it, like innit. Youknozitmakezsense, anallat.

Later clarts and clits!

Thursday, 26 November 2009

*is listing*



Another day, another scramble for a subject to blog about, consequently another new label. This one comes under the heading of '10 Things....'

Now, this will possibly join the other intended 'serial' labels such as 'Quick Thought' and 'Mojo Moments' (those labels that I had the vague plan of utilizing at least once a month, for occasions such as today when I can't think of a blog subject), but being a procrastinator also qualifies you for forgotten ideas and neglected projects, so I'm not overly worried.

So.....

10 Things.... Not To Say To A Woman.


1 - Are you pregnant?
Who says it: Normally innocent childlings, though sometimes the hubby is the culprit.
When is it said: Usually just after the person notices just how large your belly has become.
Usual reply:  (Spoken) No. (Thought) Do I ask you if you're pregnanat when your belly extends more than it should? (Note, this response is obviously not meant for the children).



2 - Well, now that you mention it, your bum does look rather big in that....
Who says it: Normally the hubby.
When it is said: After the (stupid) question 'Does my bum look big in this?'
Usual response: (Spoken) Oh, thanks for being so honest. (Thought) You asshole! You're supposed to lie!

3 - I forgot your birthday. sorry!
Who says it: The hubby. (Are you sensing a pattern here?)
When it is said: On your birthday. Obviously.
Usual response:  Stoic silence accompanied by a glacial smile (Thought) Unprintable.


4 - I thought you'd prefer something useful.
Who says it: Take a wild guess.
When it is said: Birthdays and Christmas, usually after you have opened a present that you were hoping to be something nice, but turns out to be a blender or some such thing.
Usual response: (Spoken) Er, thanks. (Thought) Next year I'm buying you a spanner, see how you like it.

5 -  Martha! (Or Jane, or Heather, or indeed any female name at all, except for yours).
Who says it: Hubby/boyfriend/partner.
When it is said: In the throes of passion.
Usual reply: Hitting the person over the head with the nearest blunt instrument. If nothing is to hand, pummeling with fists and persistent screeching will suffice.

6 - Hi love, what's for tea?
Who says it: Do I really need to type this bit anymore?
When it is said: To be honest, every day, but I particularly mean those days when you have had a radical haircut, or something similarly appearance-altering.
Usual response: (Spoken, in moment of pique) Fresh air sandwiches without the bread! (Thought) Are you blind?? I mean, SERIOUSLY??

7 - You missed a bit.
Who says it: Really....I think we're past this now.
When it is said: Usually just as you've finished cleaning the oven, or mopping the floors.
Usual response: (Spoken through gritted teeth) Thanks. (Thought) I don't bloody care if I've missed a bit! No more scrubbing for me, unless it includes wiping that smirk off your face!

8 - I didn't realise the time.
Who says it: Umm, let me think...
When is it said: Usually in the small hours of the morning.
Usual response: A grunt, accompanied by a glare and two raised eyebrows. (Thought) Inner grunt and raising of the eyebrows.


9 - I'm not drunk!
Who says it: Blah blah blah.
When it is said: When they are obviously drunk.
Usual response: Pointed glare, then rolling of the eyes.

10 - I'll phone you.
Who says it: Every single man on the planet (ha! got you there!)
When it is said: Every day, for the most part.
Usual response: Hysterical laughter.


And so endeth the list.

Note: I should tell you that not all of these have happened to me. Most of them, but not all. Just saying, like. In case I needed lawyers or something.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

*is being typically British and talking about the weather*


It's freezing here in Cardiff. We had a so-so summer, with only a few really nice days dotted here and there, and a fairly mild winter so far. Technically speaking, winter generally runs from mid-November until early March, but in this part of the country we have one week of autumn sandwiched between summer and winter, so winter starts earlier.

So far we've had enough rain to replenish the Atlantic ocean. Or so it seems. I can usually forget all about the length of the grass in my front garden between October and April, because it never rises above four inches or so. Not so, this year.  I actually have real green grass in my front garden at the moment (though the back garden still looks like a dying Sherwood Forest). It looks like it will have to be cut again, which is unheard of this side of Christmas,


Still, as I say, it has been exceptionally mild this winter so far. Right up until last weekend. Since Sunday, we have had nothing but rain, wind, and more rain. Of course, it always rains on a Tuesday, because that is the day when I do my weekly grocery shop and have to take a trip into Canton (the nearest shopping area to me). Said trip involves a bus journey, and a fair bit of walking around between the shops that I frequent in my weekly search for a bargain. So of course, it has to rain on a Tuesday, because that is when I am out and about. I call it Tara-Karma (which means nothing works in my favour). Other days of the week are obviously perfectly suited to shopping expeditions (unless I do my shopping on a Wednesday, which of course means that Tuesday is dry, and Wednesday is wet. Very wet).

Anywho, as I was saying, nothing but rain and wind since the weekend. And it's suddenly turned colder than that forgotten bottle of beer at the bottom of the freezer (you know the one, the bottle that you stash when you get home from work in readiness for drinking an hour or so later, only an hour or so later you are eating a meal and have forgotten all about that bottle of beer you stashed so diligently).


And when I say cold, I really mean freezing. Or, as we Taffies like to say, freeeez -en (with emphasis on the 'r', almost a purr, you understand). I have the central heating turned on full, the gas fire burning merrily, and am wearing a cardigan that is possible older than God, but still I am not properly warm. Brrr.

But I actually don't mind the cold. It's much easier to get warm than it is to cool down. I'm one of those miserable people who hates the summer. And I do mean hate. If the sun is shining, you can guarantee that I will be cranky. Everything is just so much more of an effort when it is warm. The walk back from the school every day exhausts me. And I drink so much water that I spend half of the summer having a wee (sorry if that's too much information *snorts*). And if that's not enough reason to dislike summer, then there's also the fact that no matter how many windows you have open, how little you wear to bed, and how high the setting on the fan is, you're still going to feel like you are being cooked when you are trying to get to sleep.


This is why I don't mind the cold. It could be colder than a deep-freeze outside, with the wind blowing a gale, and the rain coming at you from all directions (including upwards, if you live around here), but when you get home you can forget about it. You can make a hot drink, pull the sofa up to the fire, and warm your frozen toes. And if your ancient cardi and heating sources aren't enough, you can grab your duvet and huddle into its coziness.

As an added bonus, if, like me, you are one of those people who puts their Christmas tree up a little on the early side *shifty*, you can also enjoy the wonderful glow that the tree lights bestow on your room of an evening. All year round, the room is just a room, plainly decorated with the obligatory pieces of furniture in their allotted spaces. Now that I've put my tree up, the room is transformed. In the daytime, it's still just a room, but as soon as its dark (around about 4pm now), we have lovely sparkly reflections on our otherwise drab walls, making the room look a little bit like a festive disco.  Although there is no heat coming from the tree, the room feels infinitely warmer.

So yes, I guess you could say that I love winter. I'd happily agree to eleven months of winter every single year, with one month of summer-ness for the kids to enjoy. Although, when I think about it, we get that already....

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

*is confuzzlegasted*


Less than 24 hours ago, I blogged about not being able to blog for the next week, yet here I am. *shifty* The thing is, once you start, it's kind of hard to stop. I feel like I can't leave it in case I disturb my writing mojo, which so far has been pretty accommodating. Don't want to tempt fate (anallat).

Also, the very first comment after my blog about not blogging was *DIES*. That was it. One word. In caps lock. *faints* Not only was it from one of my favorite people in the whole world, it was from my (unpaid) illustrator. Seriously, I can't have her dying on me.


Then I had a message in my Facebook inbox. Another good friend (we have bonded permanently over our love of Remus Lupin, and our shared disgust at the way he was so brutally killed - off page too! - in the final Harry Potter book) informed me that I couldn't possibly NOT blog this week as apparently it was all she had to keep her going through the crappiest week of her life.

What's a girl to do? I simply cannot handle that much guilt, not all at the same time.

All this is very confuzzlegasting (confusing/puzzling/flabbergasting).*nods* Yes, I make up words, but honestly, sometimes you just have to make up words because one word alone doesn't convey what you want to say.

Confused.

Confused. (More so than usual because I can't get rid of that big red strip above. Hm).

I'm confused mainly because that's the way I am naturally. I'm always confused, it's just my way. I'm a natural Scratches Head On An Hourly Basis kind of girl.

Puzzled.


I'm puzzled because it just adds to the whole confused thing. Confusion is a natural state, but the puzzlement is the elevated version of mere confusion. *nods* (I hope I'm not confusing you).

Flabbergasted.

This is the biggie. You see, I'm really bemused (ohh, I could add that to my word, couldn't I - confuzzlegastemused - too much?) at the way my blog has apparently managed to get a few fans. I'm not new to fans as such. Without trying to sound big-headed, I have a steady fanbase for my fanfics, and at my writing peak two years ago I had hundreds (or maybe tens) of people pestering me for updates on a daily basis. Fans are lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely. But I never dreamed I would have people reading AND enjoying my blog. I mean, honestly, mostly it is just ramble, with plenty of insanity added to the mix. I knew I'd have a few friends read it, but that would be that. Or so I thought.

Taffing is Good.

Yes, Taffing is very good indeed, like, innit? It seems I have attracted a few more readers since I spouted rood words and Taffed about Kairdiff. I have no idea why this particular ramble interested so many people, but I've definitely noticed my view counter moving a lot faster since I Taffed. Now, to be fair, I'd hazard a guess that almost half of these views are from me. *shifty* I check in every time I'm at the PC. Mostly it's to edit, because every single post has about a gazillion typos, and each edit ups the view count. Then there's the times that I am doing anything at all rather than write *shifty once more*. I pop in, read a few of my older blogs (just to make sure that I am indeed as insane as I thought I was), and check out other blogs from my buddy list.

What was I saying before I digressed? Ah, yes. I'm bemused. I can't get my head around the fact that my blog is attracting readers. It's insane. All the blogs that I read (well, almost all) are informative and intelligent pieces of work, usually passing knowledge on to the reader. Quite obviously, mine is not at all like that. *snorts* Which is why I'm bemused.

And guilty. Yes, guilty. I mean, if people want to read my ramblings, who am I to say 'no'?  I can't let them down, it would go against the grain. As per normal, today's blog doesn't really have anything interesting to say, and most of it probably doesn't make sense, but hey, who cares? Hopefully it will have stopped Ana from DYING (note the use of caps lock), and will have helped LauLau (my fellow Lupin lover) forget about her nightmare week for a few minutes.

And now I don't have to feel guity for missing a day of blogging. That'll do for me.

Monday, 23 November 2009

*is mostly NaNo-ing*



I'm feeling torn at the moment. When I started this blog, I was determined that I would do it properly. That is, I was determined to blog every single day. The content didn't matter too much, as long as it was something. Some days I've blogged twice because I knew I was going to miss the following day (or some such thing), but number-wise, there has been a blog for every single day since I first started.

Currently I'm at the start of the final week of NaNoWriMo, and, as I suspected, I am behind. Not terribly behind, as in Oh My God I'll Never Make The 50,000 Words Goal, but behind all the same. Especially seeing as I really wanted to make 65,000 words. I need 65,000 if I want to attempt to publish it. Okay, at the moment it's far too pants to even consider publishing, but that's the ultimate goal here, and 65,000 words would have been awesome, and given me wiggle room when I went through the editing stage. Cutting sections of text is far easier than adding, and at the rate I'm going I'll definitely need to add a good 10k to my word count.

But never mind. 65,000 words was a personal goal, the official goal is 50,000, and I should - by the skin of my teeth - just about make it. I'm definitely nearing the end of the story, and am currently sitting at 38k. There's enough plot left to fill the last 12k or so, rounding off to a neat 52k if I'm diligent. Word counters are a nightmare, and several times I've thought I had a certain amount of words, only to have the NaNo website tell me it's a few hundred less than I thought. I've been Taffing about that I don't know how many times in the last three weeks.

Anyway, to get back to what I was trying to say earlier on, I am torn. Ideally I'd like to keep blogging every day, but I have a feeling that this week will be swallowed. There may be an odd blog in the middle, but I think it's unlikely. So I shall ramble no more until next Monday (well, my NaNo will be filled with ramble probably, but nobody will get to read that *snort*), and will wave bye-bye for a little while.

Catch you soon!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

*gulps*


*points at main picture* Yup, it's the preliminary sketch for the cover art of my NaNo novel, courtesy of my lovely friend Ana. Not only is Ana one of my most favorite people in the world, she channels me in so many ways that we could be sisters. A few years ago a bunch of us 're-wrote' the scripts from The Lord of the Rings movies (and when I say 're-wrote', I really mean we copied sections of the script and altered it to suit our own needs *shifty*). On one particular section, things got a little confused and both me and Ana wrote the next installment. Funny thing was, pretty much all of the alterations were the same thing, that's how similarly-minded we are. It was brilliant.

Anyway, digression aside, Ana really does channel me. Eleanor (my main character) is almost exactly like Ana's interpretation of her (except that her hair is a little more frizzy). But the best thing is the cat. I love that Ana placed Muse at the front, because Muse is pegged to be a recurring character in a mini series (which I think I mentioned before).

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I've decided to post the opening from my NaNo for today's blog (well, technically it is still Saturday, but I know I am going to be swamped tomorrow so I figured I'd post a couple of hours early).

So far I've had mixed feelings about my NaNo. Initially I thought it was the biggest pile of crap that I've ever written; by the time I hit 10k, I was feeling a bit better about it. When 20k was passed, I was excited, with ideas cropping up all over the place. Then I hit 30k, and the excitement dwindled and I started panicking, mostly because I thought it was pants all over again. I'm still up and down about it, to be truthful. I think there are several sections that have potential, but other parts are probably destined to be cut away and buried very deeply where no-one will ever find them. Still, at almost 35k, it's too much work to completely waste, so I will continue, onwards and upwards, anallat....

So, after the obligatory ramble, here is the opening of my NaNo. Be gentle - it's not formatted properly, it needs editing, probably has typos, and in truth, sucks (more than) a little bit. But that's what December is for, right? Fixing it up to make it the best it can possibly be. *nods*

Cardiffella

              
Eleanor Gibson woke up to the persistent meowing of her cat. She groaned and buried herself a little deeper beneath the duvet, gently kicking her feline companion away from her.

“Muse, go away. I’ll feed you in a minute.”

Of course, telling her cat to go away wouldn’t work – it never did – but at least it gave Eleanor a few extra seconds of warmth. Or so she thought. A sharp digging sensation in the middle of Eleanor’s back was all it took to end those precious few seconds of comfort.

Grumbling under her breath, Eleanor threw the duvet into a messy heap on the floor and stood up, stretching and yawning as she did so.

“You could have left me a few moments longer, Muse. You know I had a rough night last night.”

Muse pricked her ears and walked away with her tail in the air.

“It’s alright for you,” continued Eleanor. “You don’t have to speak to my visitors.”

The previous evening had seen the (unwanted) weekly visit from her ex-stepmother. Christie Gibson was, in two words, A Bitch. She had crawled into Teddy Gibson’s life six months after Eleanor’s mother had died, and it had taken three years to get rid of her. Teddy woke up one day about three months after his hasty second marriage and realised that he had married a monster. Luckily, Eleanor had been able lend support to her somewhat dithering father, and by sending him away on a month-long cruise, had finally been able to persuade Christie to sign the divorce papers.

Well, maybe persuade was the wrong choice of word, but Eleanor had run out of reasonable ideas, so the somewhat strong coercion technique that she had used was, in her opinion, justified.

The trouble was, Christie was still angry, and she chose to vent this anger by calling upon her ex-stepdaughter every Monday.

“You owe me, Eleanor Gibson, and never forget it!”


Christie’s words came back and replayed themselves once again. If it wasn’t so annoying, Eleanor would be tempted to laugh. Christie had been uttering the same thing every week for the least eighteen months. At first it had been a little bit daunting, but now it was bordering on hysterical.

“Meow!”

“Alright, alright, I’m coming!”

Eleanor tried to act cross, but honestly, Muse’s timely interruption was just what she needed. If she started the day cursing Christie, she wouldn’t get anywhere at all.  And….

“Oh crap!” she suddenly cried. “Photo shoot at 9am! Jake’ll kill me!”

Hastily emptying half a box of  cat biscuits into Muse’s dish, Eleanor dashed upstairs and headed for the shower.

                                                      #



Eleanor quickly ran for the elevator as soon as she reached the offices of Cardiff Mode. She loved working for a modelling agency, even though she knew that half the time she was simply the errand girl. There was something about the glamour that attracted her. Normally, Eleanor was a very practical young woman, but the world of modelling had always fascinated her.

Eleanor was short, skinny, and had an unremarkable face topped with a full head of extremely frizzy black hair. She had known from a very early age that she could never hope to be a model, but she hadn’t let that stop her from wanting to become a part of the modelling world.

After dreaming her way through school and Design College, Eleanor came away with no qualifications, but a heap of enthusiasm nonetheless. She had entered her present job right at the bottom of the career ladder. In fact, if she was honest with herself, she didn’t even have a foot on the first rung. But that was fine with her, she’d always been a solid ‘both feet firmly on the floor’ kind if girl anyway. Right now she was fetching drinks and making phone calls, but she was so efficient at these seemingly menial tasks that everyone at Cardiff Mode loved her.

Unfortunately, that included Derek Leeming, Cardiff Mode’s leading lecher.

“Looking gorgeous as always, Eleanor!”

“Thanks, Derek,” she replied, forcing a smile to her lips. Damn, why is he always there when the elevator doors open?  If Derek had had even an ounce of genuineness about him, she might have liked him. He was romance-novel handsome with his slightly too long dark wavy hair, pumped up biceps and slim hips, but unfortunately he was afflicted with a smarmy disposition. Derek was under the impression that all women adored him, when in fact most women tried to run in the opposite direction when they saw him.

“Heavy night last night, was it?” he drawled suggestively.

“Er, no, I’m just running a little late, that’s all. I’ll see you later, Derek, I really have to go.”

“Drinks at Harper’s after work?” he called at her retreating back. Eleanor pretended not to hear him and made a mental note to avoid Harper’s like the plague as soon as she finished her shift. She raced to Jake’s office and made it with two minutes to spare.

“Afternoon, Sunshine!”

“Jake, I’m so sorry! I had a heck of night last night….”

Jake waved his arms vaguely and Eleanor cut off her explanation, smiling gratefully at the man standing in front of her.

If ever there was a man worthy of drooling over, it was Jake Morrison. Jake had started out as a model and had been at the top of his game for four years before taking early retirement. He had thick blonde hair that teased the collar of his designer shirt, and his equally designer jeans hugged one of the cutest butts Eleanor had ever had the privilege of seeing.

Unfortunately, as well as being drop-dead gorgeous, Jake was also gay. Eleanor may have been tempted to try and change his mind, but one, that never worked in the real world, and two, Jake was seeing an equally gorgeous male by the name of Danny Butler. It had taken Eleanor a while to get over the disappointment of realising that the two most gorgeous men of her acquaintance were never going to look at her as anything more than a sister, but in the process she had made two of the best friends she had ever had.

“Have I told you lately that I love having you for a boss?” she sighed.

“Yesterday, I believe,” snorted Jake. “And I’m not your boss, anyway.”

“Every single person who works here is my boss, Jake,” she pointed out.

“Ah, that may be so, Sweetie, but you have to start somewhere.”

“I know. I’m not really complaining, Jake. I think I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.”

“Darling, you really need to try a new bed, it’ll do wonders for your state of happiness.”

“Jake, I don’t need a new bed.”

“Oh, not at your house, Sweetie, I mean someone else’s bed. You’ve been single for far too long.”

“Pish, not that again,” said Eleanor airily. “I’m fine the way I am.”

“Darling, having a cat for a bed mate is not my idea of ‘fine’. You need a nice strapping lad to fill the position. I’d lend you mine, but I’m not willing to share.”

“Shame,” teased Eleanor. “Anyway, as you’re my boss, shouldn’t you be ushering me towards the door round about now.”

“Nah, we’ve got plenty of time before Dumb and Dumber arrive.”

“Jake, you shouldn’t be calling Cardiff Mode’s two top models ‘Dumb’ and ‘Dumber’. Especially seeing as they are both far from being dumb. And I thought you told me nine o’clock?”

“I know, but it winds them up a treat, and I get lots of lovely smouldering looks when I’m clicking away. And I said nine because I need them here by ten. Brainier than the average blonde they may be, but they aren’t the best time-keepers.”

“Sly Jake, very sly.”

“As always, darling. Say, now that we have the time, what’s say we grab a coffee at Starbucks? They have a fabulous new muffin that I’m dying to try.”

Jake was a huge muffin fan, consequently Eleanor knew most of the staff at the neighbouring Starbucks by their first names. She also knew when they were trying out new muffins.

“Voila!” she said, pulling a paper bag from her fashionably large carry-all.

“Darling, I love you!” said Jake dramatically, grabbing the bag and blowing a kiss at her.

“And here I thought it was me you truly loved,” sighed Danny as he entered the office. “Ooh, are those muffins?”

Eleanor giggled as both men reached into the bag and extracted a still-warm muffin each, biting into them simultaneously and sighing blissfully.

“What’s the occasion?” asked Danny, finishing his muffin in three quick bites and reaching for another.

“I missed breakfast,” replied Eleanor, quickly grabbing a muffin for herself before they all disappeared.

“Oh darling, I forgot, it’s Tuesday! No wonder you were late,” said Jake in his best brotherly-concern voice. “And how was Agatha?”

Eleanor rolled her eyes and snorted at the same time. Ever since Jake had learned the name of her ex-stepmother, he had taken to calling her ‘Agatha’. Obviously, the link with the famous author had been evident, but Jake had coined the nick-name primarily because being called ‘Agatha’ drove Christie up the wall.

“Same as usual,” she said.

“Sweetie, have another muffin,” said Jake gravely. “You need it more than I do.”

“You really have to do something about her, Ella,” added Danny. Jake and Danny had decided that ‘Eleanor’ was too serious a name for their friend, and had dutifully renamed her ‘Ella’ in the spirit of keeping her ‘young’.

“I know,” replied Eleanor. “I shouldn’t let her get to me. Usually its water off a duck’s back, but last night she was even more annoying than normal.”

“There aren’t enough muffins,” stage-whispered Jake. “We’re going to need emergency back-up.”

“Malteasers?” Danny whispered back.

“Oh, definitely. In the bottom drawer.”

“Oh dear, do I look that stressed?” asked Eleanor.

“You look gorgeous, darling, as always. This is for your inner beauty. We like you better when you are happy and beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. And nothing brings happiness like a chocolate-covered ball.”

“Speak for yourself,” said Eleanor, and was rewarded with two matching wicked grins.

Danny pulled out a large box of Malteasers from behind Jake’s desk and shoved them beneath Eleanor’s nose.

“There’s still over half an hour before we have to leave,” said Jake. “Tuck into those, and we’ll soon have you feeling tickety-boo.”

Grinning widely, Eleanor did as she was bid.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


*swallows nervously*

*is proud to say she is googleable*


I impressed a couple of friends last night. An unexpected night of wine and beer (wine for the girls, beer for the boys, fun for everyone) turned into a laugh-a-minute heap of hilarity.  The added bonuses of a) the daughter sleeping over her auntie's house, and b) friends bringing their son over with them  (keeping our own son entertained) meant that the four adults could have fun and be pretty much undisturbed.

The beer cans kept lining up, the wine flowed nicely, and much was talked about. The obligatory catch-up (we live literally ten seconds away from each other, but haven't had a proper catch-up for ages), Christmas, what the kids are up to, Christmas, daily struggles with paying bills, Christmas.... well, you get the idea.

Of course, with our main computer hooked up to our TV, and with said TV being 42" and the focal point of the room, we inevitably ended up on the internet.  My friend informed me that she has been reading my blog off an on, which surprised me because, well, there's not really a reason, I was just surprised (but happily so).  Somehow we got onto the subject of how she gets access to it, and said that she wished there was an easier way other than via Facebook.


Now, I discovered something wonderful last week. If you type 'wobbly sausage' into Google search, you'll get my blog on the first page. I'm varying between  #1 and  #4, but I'm there all the same. I love the fact that wobbly sausages are leading almost directly to me. *snorts*  And friends were 'well impressed' that I was googleable (possibly their enthusiasm might have had something to do with alcohol consumption, but that's not really important).

Of course, what with me being a lightweight when it comes to alcohol - a very little makes me a very lot drunk - I was well on my way to Drunksville after only two glasses. At this point, we had bypassed wobbly sausages (shame), laughed a little about Taffisms (wotyoudooooen?), remembered that Taff boys were 'clarts' and Taff girls was 'clits' (I'll blog about that another time), and were delving through Youtube.

Youtube is an excellent way to spend an evening when you are drinking. *nods* You have humour (video of Rainbow (British TV show from yonks ago aimed at kids) that mentions twangers, plucking instruments and playing with your friend's balls amongst other such gems), insanity (those two guys miming to 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight). nostalgia (music from the 80's), and well, pretty much everything.


The boys enjoyed Sex Pistols, The Killers, and videos of break dancing, and for the girls' entertainment we had Pet Shop Boys, OMD, and cheesy songs to (badly) sing along to (Grease's 'Summer Nights' being a highlight, especially that bit at the end when you can scream 'niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight').

On a related note, there could very well be a new video on Youtube (or possibly Facebook) very soon. *shifty* Both hubbies (er, my hubby and friend's hubby, that is, I only have one husband) recorded our singalong sessions from time to time. Now, this is rather disturbing because a) I can't sing, b) I can't dance, and c) I was drunk. (although to be fair, it is only because of c) that I didn't immediately hide behind a cushion when the camera got pulled out). I seem to remember enthusiastically singing along to 'Sweet Transvestite' (from the sublime Rocky Horror Picture Show), and am slightly worried that this could potentially be seen by a LOT of people.





Still, it was a good night. I got drunk, caught up with some friends, scared the son with my singing skills, and gave the hubby blackmailing options. Not to mention impressing people with my googleability. Successful night all round, I'd say.

Friday, 20 November 2009

*is reporting again*



Hello everyone, Ima Nutcase here, bringing you the very latest news! As with all news, sometimes it is good, sometimes it is bad. Here at The Daily Ramble we like to think that we bring you all of the news, be it heart-breaking or uplifting.

You may remember our previous two reports about a young Cardiff housewife. Tara Smith (still 23), seems to be experiencing a rather eventful November. Unfortunately, these events are leaning towards the aforementioned heart-breaking side of things.  We caught up with our doom-filled Cardiffian, and asked her for further details.

"It's been a ducking nightmare of a month," she explains. "Honestly, I don't what I did to deserve this, I really don't."

We offer the distraught young woman a few tissues, and urge her to continue.

"I was so happy last month," she says, wiping her eyes delicately. "I finally had a laptop to work on - after being without one for ages - and I thought, great! Finally I can get back to my writing! Then the bluddy thing ducked up and stopped working. After a mere two weeks. I mean seriously. Seriously? Just after I had committed myself to doing the NaNoWriMo, too."

Not one to give up, our brave housewife still continued with her plans. Using the other two available PCs in the house whenever she could, she indeed progressed marvelously with her NaNo novel.

"I'd just passed 32,000 words," says Tara morosely. "It had been difficult, what with having next to no time at all on the computer, and sharing them with the family, but I was doing it. I was really excited."

Cue heart-breaking moment, we suspect.

"And then, last night, my.... oh Lordy, I don't know if I can speak," sobs Tara.


We offer a few more tissues, and a rather large glass of vodka. It seems to do the trick, and the young housewife continues her rambling.

"My son informed me that his computer wouldn't start. I checked, and sure enough, it wouldn't boot up."

Said computer is currently being pulled apart by Mr. Smith, who is hoping to recover all data before he does something technical to it (we won't go into detail, because we are technically challenged).

"I just don't know how much more I can take," sighs the depressed housewife as she helps herself to some more tissues and another straight vodka.


We at The Daily Ramble are not without heart, so we decide to offer some good news to instill a little cheer into our unlucky aspiring novelist.  We remind her that she has now amassed fifty daily blogs. We tell her that this is quite the achievement, especially for someone who is notorious for slacking when it comes to writing.





"That is nice," says a slightly happier Mrs Smith. " I suppose there's a silver lining after all."


Indeed. We at The Daily Ramble look forward to another fifty blogs, and cross our fingers for a speedy computer problems fix.


Ima Nutcase, The Daily Ramble


Thursday, 19 November 2009

*is rhyming*


Thursday Madness...

Seven o'clock, alarm goes 'ring',
I open my eyes, and say 'Bloody Hing!'
I'm far too tired to get out of bed,
I want to stick the pillow back over my head.

Crawl downstairs,  flick kettle on,
Without my tea, I'm an angry King Kong.
Drink my cuppa, make some toast,
Sort through the daily bills from the post.

Yell at the son, 'Brush your teeth,
up, down, and underneath!"
Yell at the daughter, "Leave Dale alone,
that's all you ever do is moan!"

7:50, son leaves for the day,
One child left to get out of the way.
8:45, I'm ready and waiting,
But daughter is still bloody titivating.

9:05, second child is in class,
Time to kick myself up the ass.
Waylaid by school gate, my plan doesn't matter,
When offered the chance to have a good natter.

Sister-in-law, cousin and friends,
With lots to talk about, the chat never ends.
9:45, I finally get home,
The dishes and housework making me groan.

10:35, sister knocks the door,
Alas, thoughts of housework are no more.
Decide, instead, to grab Christmas tree,
Carelessly decorated by sister and me.

3:35, both kids are back home,
Screaming and shouting, having their moan.
Homework is done amidst much grumbling,
Due to the fact that stomachs are rumbling.

Tea is cooked, uniforms made ready,
Only two hours until 'Time for bed(dy)!
Feet are aching, so is the head,
Never mind the kids, I want my bed!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

*is querying questionable questions*


Half an hour ago I asked my husband for some advice. I told him I was stumped for a topic for today's blog, and asked him to give me a subject - any subject - to ramble about. He said 'I dunno'. Bingo. Not the answer I was exactly hoping for, but I thanked him anyway because without suggesting anything at all, he still gave me a subject to blog about. He's a good man, my hubby. *grins*

Annoying questions and answers  - that's my subject for today. You probably all know what I am talking about. Those stupid questions that aren't worth asking, or those answers that don't answer your initial question. Questions and answers so pointless that they aren't worth the effort of opening your mouth and speaking.

My number one annoying answer at the moment is 'surprise me'. There are a few people that I need to buy Christmas gifts for that I am completely stumped on. As a last resort, I'm asking them for ideas, which I think is the sensible thing to do. A surprise is all well and good, but I'd much rather buy something that a person wants or needs rather than give them something random that they will have absolutely no use for. So I ask them, "Can you give me a few ideas for Christmas?" And what do I get? "Surprise me."  (or even the irritating shoulder shrug accompanied by a bored 'I dunno').*bangs head against the wall*. If I didn't want an answer, I wouldn't ask the question!!!

Other exasperating questions.... let me see. Well, there's the incredibly stupid "Are you asleep?" *rolls eyes* Listen up boys and girls, and I'll let you in on a secret. You're never going to get a 'yes' to that question.  Nope. I know it's astonishing, but it's true. Affirmative responses are just not happening.

Then there's the "Are you reading?" Note, this normally only gets asked when you are sat down with your nose buried in - surprise of surprises - a book. *nods*  Duh!!! Yes, I am reading, you idiot, now shut up and let me continue before I ask  'Are you being annoying on purpose, or is that just the way you are naturally?"

Another favorite stupid question is "Are you busy?" Sometimes this question is a decent enough query, but more often than not it is asked when you are up to your eyes with dishes, ironing, and cooking etc. Honestly, does it look like I'm relaxing?  Do you perhaps think that I am not juggling enough chores, and maybe need something else added to the never-ending list of things that have to be done?

The most annoying question though, is something that has probably happened to all of us. Just imagine that you are snuggled up warmly under your cosy duvet, possibly snoring just a little bit. You're dreaming about something wonderful (or maybe not dreaming at all, just blissfully sleeping), lost in the sublime-ness of Snoozeland. Your spouse/sibling/child/housemate (take your pick) decides to impersonate a herd of elephants trampling up the stairs, and then turn their artistic talents towards physical comedy when they crash through the door and knock over an item that is obviously breakable, thus guaranteed to make a very loud noise as it lands on the floor. Your talented spouse/sibling/child/housemate then utters the most irritating question ever invented.


"Did I wake you?"

*pulls out hair*

Honestly, being woken up is not the worst of it, you also have to deal with the slight worry that you might be having a heart attack. And do you know what the silliest thing is about this whole scenario? In your head you are calling this person seven kinds of curse words, and are probably envisioning at least a dozen ways in which you could kill them, but make it look like an accident. While you are imagining these pleasing scenarios, thinking you may be the next best thing to a hit-man, your mouth has turned into the spokesperson for Lame Utd and is uttering something stupid like, "No, I was only dozing."

So yeah, I'm querying these senseless questions and answers. There are probably at least another hundred examples I could have used, but these few are the ones that crop up the most. I would end this by asking if any of YOU have these things happen to you too, but I'm guessing the answer would be a resounding YES, so I won't bother. We definitely do not need another pointless question....

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

*is pondering about openings*

That's right, I'm pondering about openings. Now, before you start smirking and tittering, this isn't going to be smutty. In fact, I'm surprising myself by blogging about something that isn't insane, smutty, or random for the second day in a row. (Actually, there might be a teensy bit of smut in here somewhere, but.... well you'll see why in a bit).

The openings that are consuming my thoughts at the moment are from books. That killer first line, those magical first words that essentially need to hook readers by the navel and keep them interested. Some opening lines are probably as famous as the books from which they are taken.

 "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife." - I probably don't need to tell you which book this is taken from, though for the sake of sakeness, I will inform you that it is from, of course, Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  This is probably my favorite opening line ever. It's just perfect. It sets the tone for the novel beautifully, and lets you know right away that there's going to be a wealthy man as a main character who will end up married by the end of the novel, whether he likes it or not. Just perfect.

Then we have good old "Mr and Mrs Dursely, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much." Rowling's first line from her immensely popular Harry Potter series is again a very good example, in my humble opinion. Right away you get a sense of the Dursleys' characters, plus a hint that things that might not be deemed as 'normal'' were going to happen pretty soon.

Now, with the above two examples firmly etched in my memory, I started wondering about other (book) openings too. Is there a common theme at all? Should the line be short and snappy, or a little long? Do we aim for humor, drama, or gore? Of course, it really all depends on the genre of the book. With this partly formed conclusion in my brain, I decided to have a look at a few books.

The first book I'm going to use as an example is The Girlfriend Curse by Valerie Frankel. This is from the  chick-lit genre, which I'm currently overdosing on due to my NaNo novel. The opening line reads: "Peg Silver, thirty-two, could make a man come, but she couldn't make him stay."  Personally, I thought this was a very snort-worthy opening line, and I knew immediately what the tone of the novel would be. I finished the book this morning, and wasn't disappointed. Well,  when I say I wasn't disapponted, I really meant that I was right in my assumption that the tone of the novel would be a little bit naughty, laced with several layers of smut. The story itself was nothing to write home about, but I liked the style of the author all the same. Very funny.

The next book I'm planning to read (I had a very successful trip to the library yesterday) is Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally. I thought the movie adaptation was very good, and I've always had an interest in the Holocaust (call me morbid if you will, but it's always fascinated me), so when I saw this book, I grabbed it quickly before somebody else could 'steal' it from me (can't tell you how many times that's happened in my local library, grrr). Opening line as follows: (Oh My Lordy, it's not a line, it's a freaking paragraph!) "In Poland's deepest autumn, a tall young man in an expensive overcoat, double-breasted dinner jacket beneath it an - in the lapel of the dinner jacket - a large ornamental gold-on-black enamel swastika, emerged from a fashionable apartment block in Straszewskiego Street on the edge of the ancient centre of Cracow, and saw his chauffeur waiting with fuming breath by the open door of an enormous and, even in this blackened world, lustrous Adler limousine."  Having never read the book before, I don't know if the style will continue to be as (long-winded) descriptive as this, but even that small paragraph (which took me ages to type, by the way) does what it is supposed to. You get a sense of gloom right away, and even poverty. You also know immediately that the main character is rich and privileged.


Lastly, I'm going to offer the opening lines of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Another famous book, and frequently listed on numerous 'Top Blah Blah Blah" lists. We have : "Hobbits are an unobtrusive but very ancient people, more numerous formerly than they are today; for they love peace and quiet and good tilled earth: a well-ordered and well-farmed countryside was their favourite haunt."  Now, to me, that wasn't a hook at all, especially when you consider it to be the opening line to one of the most famous books in the world. I came to the Lord of the Rings fandom rather late - I missed out on The Hobbit as a child, and only decided to read The Lord of the Rings after I had watched the first two movie adaptations. If I wasn't so desperate to find out what happened in the end (a year between movies is a killer), I wouldn't have read the book. I love the story, and have since read the book three or four times, but I find it hard going. In today's world, I don't think it would have done nearly as well. Like Stephen King (another author I love for the most part), I think Tolkien's style is far too long-winded. Still, the opening 'line' did give me fair warning that the book wasn't going to be short and snappy (as if the 1,000 pages plus hadn't already told me), so it served a useful purpose.

What am I blogging about? To be honest, I'm not quite sure, I just found this subject interesting, and was merely using my blog to share my wandering thoughts. I guess what I really want to know is, what makes a good first line? Should we even be worrying about it? I mean, most people read the back of a book before they delve inside, so is the first line really as important as everybody seems to think so?

I'll continue to ponder this conundrum, but in the meantime, what do YOU think?

Monday, 16 November 2009

*thinks change is a good thing*


I try very hard to keep my blog hovering over the line of Insanity for the most part, but today both my feet are planted firmly on Solid Ground. I had an unexpected letter in my mail this morning; now usually, unexpected letters mean I've forgotten to pay a bill, or some other such message of doom, but today's surprising missive came from my son's school.

Oh no, what now?  I thought, as soon as I saw the header. I should probably explain (as briefly as I can) that my son switched schools five months ago, bang in the middle of the summer term. My 13 year old has D.A.M.P. syndrome, which is a blanket term for all sorts of things. He has classic symptoms of ADHD, as well as elements of autism and Asperger's. That sounds worse than it actually is, because my son is essentially like any other kid his age. What it means, though, is that his brain doesn't process things in the 'normal' way, and so he finds school work difficult, and doesn't deal well socially.

To add to these problems, he is very small for his age. Now, if you add his medical problems to his height deficiency, what you are going to get is bullying. I've battled with bullies on and off for the last six years, some worse than others, and all extremely stress-inducing. The most recent spate of bullying culminated in my son not feeling safe while he was at school.

A child with any problems from the autistic spectrum is going to struggle with school, but when you add bullies to the equation, you end up with a child who doesn't like school, is reluctant to go to school, and point blank refuses to work even when they attend school. This time last year I had a son who hated school, didn't feel he was capable of following the courses, and was scared he was going to get beat up almost every day.

This year it is completely different. I was so enraged at the previous school's complete lack of constructive guidance (not to mention their attitude in general), that I removed my son from their ranks and refused to let him go back. I researched a bunch of schools, chose one which I thought sounded heaps better, and contacted the local authority. Six weeks later, my son was attending classes in a school which exemplifies each and every aspect that we all wish for our children's place of education.

This school changed my son's timetable three times before they felt that they had it just right. They placed him in a smaller class with children of the same ability as him. They stamped smiley faces in his homework planner for every completed piece of work, sent commendation slips home with him to proudly display on our fridge, and just basically made him feel that he could do well in any subject, as long as he tried his best.

The change in my son was unbelievable. Obviously the first few weeks were difficult - starting a new school in the middle of a year is never fun - but after the initial adjustment, my son was coming home smiling most days. Instead of mooching around huddled into his coat, he now looked where he was going. It was amazing.


Today's letter was the icing on the cake. I knew he was doing better in all sorts of ways, but I never imagined the extent of the improvement of his actual school work. The last few years' reports have always been the same - lack of effort, no motivation, easily distracted, must do better, yadda, yadda, yadda. Depressingly depressing, both for him and for me. This year?  Fourteen subjects - 4 A's, 6 B's, 3 C's and a D (and the D was for P.E., which was expected due to his complete lack of interest in any sport that doesn't include water).



What a difference a year makes! Just goes to show, change is good. For all of the stickers, smiley faces, and commendation slips that they have awarded my son, I'd like to offer one in return. Fitzalan High School, I award you The Gold Star of excellence!



Sunday, 15 November 2009

*is cheating again*


Yeah, I'm cheating again. It's Sunday, I'm snowed under with cooking the lunch, washing the laundry, and NaNo-ing. It's 12.45pm and I've only just put the chicken in the oven. *dies* I'm so behind, it's unbelievable. My Taff blog yesterday didn't help matters. After I wrote it, I couldn't get my head around writing 'normally', so NaNo-ing was a complete no-no last night.

Okay, so I also watched X Factor, which ate up an hour and a half, but that's neither here nor there. Escapism is a must for your general procrastinator. *nods firmly* I also had a few games of Bejeweled Blitz before I went to bed, but again, that's pretty normal for me.

I hit a rough patch in my NaNo on Friday. Thursdays are off-limits when it comes to writing, so Friday I was really hoping to punch out a few thousand words to keep on track. What  did I get? A big fat zero. Nothing, nada, zilch. I was not a happy bunny. I managed a meagre 2k yesterday afternoon, but it was hard going. This morning I had a small breakthrough and punched out another 1,700 words, but I'm still 2k shy of that magic 30k marker, and 4k shy of my personal goal of 32k by the end of today. Still ahead by NaNo standards, but not what I wanted.

So I'm not doing a real blog today. I'm rambling a little bit (see above), (which is normal for the most part) but not about anything in particular. And I'm going to insert a drabble into this post, just to make it look longer. *shifty*

Sundays. Bloody Sundays. *mutters* I really need someone to come to my house and do all of my chores so that I can concentrate on my NaNo. As that's not likely to happen any time soon, I am feeling a bit down. And if I'm feeling down, it's only fair I share a little doom, right? You know how I love to be evil. *shifty*

Soooo.... have a dark and twisty drabble:



 
It's too late to mourn, too late to cry.
It's too late to wish I'd said goodbye.

Shadows climb and shadows lie,
Shadows called for you to die.

Shadows took your restless soul,
And left me empty, dark, alone.

Shadows ignored my pleas, my moans,
And took you from your only home.

Now I watch the shadows rise,
And wonder if they hear my cries.

Do they sense my deep despair?
Or do they never have a care?

Shadows feed on my distress,
My sense of loss, my loneliness.

Shadows sense my restlessness,
They'll never leave, or let me rest.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

*is Taffing about deep fine legs*

Oi Oi clarts! Tara yer, about to start today's blog like. Me old mucker, Natasha, suggested I blog about deep fine legs like, while me butt Tami wanted Taffies, so I fort I'd do em both like, innit?

Now, I'm from Kairdiff like, born and bred, but Kairdiff is like only a little way away from the valleys, so we sorta speak a little bit like they do. Taff speak is bangin, coz we like drop our aitches and stuff. We also really like to swear like, innit, coz swearing is bangin. Actually, bangin is bangin too, if you know what I mean, coz we Taffies like a good bonk when we can gerrit like, innit?

Anyway, yer in Kairdiff, most of the girls are slags. Not that I'm meaning to be nasty like, but they just is. Nights on the razzle in Kairdiff town centre are full of slags like, innit, with skirts up their arses and tops down to their nipples. Maybe they aren't slags at all, but most of the fellas round yer seem to fink so. Specially the bimbettes with their deep fine legs constantly angled at quarter past nine, like. Dirty little trollops they are, but we loves it, we do, we loves it.

I used to be a Kairdiff slag too. My skirts used be called belts like, and my uvver alf always said to me that it was me legs that caught his attention in the first place. Actually, I should probably explain, like, that a Kairdiff slag is not like a normal slag, coz normal slags are, well, slags like, innit?  Kairdiff slags just like to wear skimpy clothes like, and aren't propa slags at all.

Over yer, we call our mates 'butt' and 'clart'. And we don't say 'how are you today?', we say, 'wots appening, butt?' We don't say things propa either, coz we roll like three words into one like, and say stuff like wo'youdoin', or backinaminni. We're not able to say our gees like, either. Like, if you wanted to say 'How's it hanging', we would say 'howzithangin'.  I think we're propa lazy like, to be honest, but we don't know better, so s'not our fault like, innit?

Now we cum to the swearin bit. We just love to swear, we do. I'd berra not type what we'd say like, coz the little ankle-biters might read it, but if I use a birrof Taff cunnin like, I can use words that rhyme like, innit? We say duck all the time, like. It's 'duck off' yer and 'duck off' there, and 'for duckssake like, just duck off' everywhere. We just like to say duck (we also like to duck, but that's like anuvver blog, like, innit?). We also say the really orrible words too, like tunt. I don't really like that word, like, but it's like a favorite rood word like for all of the clarts out there.

Anuvver word we says a lot is bluddy. Bluddy this, bluddy that, bluddy everything. And pants too, coz we likes saying pants like, innit? Sometimes it can be a bit confoosing like, specially when we're really pissed off like, coz we end up saying stuff like 'bluddy duck off, you ducking tunt, coz yer doin my duckin hedin', but mostly we is OK coz we all understands each ovver like, innit?

Going back to legs (coz my mucker Natasha might fink I is cheating like), I fort I'd finish this yer blog by rambling a little birrabou legs. I got quite long legs, like, innit, so it's a ducking nightmare when I wants to buy some jeans or somefink. They either too ducking long, or too ducking short, there's no bluddy middle ground. It doezmyhedin!

You might fink that Kairdiff is fullov common clarts like, but although we speaks common like, we're a nice bunch really, like, innit. I love Kairdiff  I do, it's bangin. Sure, there's a few mingers dotted about the place like, but that's the same as anywhere else like, innit? You gorra take the ruff wiv the smoove.

I gorra go now, coz I just cooked a bangin pizza and I'm gunna share it wiv me doorter, coz she loves pizza like. Me son's a birovva nutter though, coz he don't like pizza, so I gorra make him somefink else. Ah well, issallgood, innit?

Later, clarts!

P.S. I was gunna do the spellcheckin fing like I normally do, like, but then I fort what's the bluddy point? It's gunna pick up everyduckingfing, innit?