Sunday, 28 February 2010

that chewing gum is coming back in style

When I was a kid, I was scared of everything. Not just my brother who hid behind doors and waited for me on the landing, or Mr Morrell the red cheeked, kiddie fiddlerish greengrocer up the road. No, I was constantly freaked out by very ordinary things, such as doors, wallpaper and chests of drawers with handles which looked like eyes. Now, unless I've been watching Most Haunted with Girls Aloud or I Believe In Ghosts with Joe Swash, I'm happy to say I'm not scared of furniture or wall coverings any more. (Apart from the weird Edvard Munch face in the woodgrain of the hall cupboard, but the less said about that the better).

When you're big enough to reach light switches and fight the forces of evil with with a rolled up newspaper, it's easy to forget how strange the world must look to a person the third of your size. I defy you to look at these unsettling photos Louis took on my phone and not experience a David Lynchian sense of disquiet. There's the big spooky monster with no face...

The cold, uncomprehending eyes of the Thomas phone...(and the murderer was on the EXTENSION!)

The malevolent stare of Upsy Daisy...

not to mention the mysterious fat bottomed ghost in the hall.

Jesus, no wonder he's scared of the Pinky Ponk.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Days of blunder

Before children, a day off was just that. I'd lie in bed dry mouthed, watching T4 Sunday and scratching myself. It was great. Some days I would be glued to the sofa like a monstrous clam attached to a rock, my eyes full of telly and my mouth full of cheese savoury Big Softee. Then I'd get restless legs at about 11pm and go to bed - job done.

Yesterday my hungover self was offered a rare chance to spend an afternoon alone, without junior monkey hanging off my legs and yelling 'watch Monsters Inc!'. The door closed. Silence. Blissful silence. I didn't have to do anything. At all.

So I:
Did the dishes
Cleaned the kitchen
Put a wash on
Reorganized the musty foul swamp I call my knicker drawer
Had a bath
Washed hair
Did the recycling
Watched the Grammys for two seconds and CRIED when Taylor Swift won Best Album (I put this down to the hangover not a latent love of shit Avril Lavigne-esque country sung by a baby seagull in a dress.)
Researched recipes for banana bread
Made banana bread
Swept the floor
Did the dishes again
hung up the washing
Compiled shopping list
Made spinach and mushroom lasagne
Did the dishes again.

By the time my child was returned I was exhausted and had to change his pooey nappies and give him his bath too. I am an idiot.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Lemon turd cake

Made a lemon curd cake yesterday, while I was supposed to be 'working from home' (whenever I think of the phrase working from home, I always think of Terri Coverley in the Thick of It getting a phone call from her boss while in the car and saying 'Yes, I'm working from home today. What am I doing? Er..I'm driving to my sister's in Hastings').

So anyway, I burnt it. Here it is, lurking brownishly next to a lemon. This is my attempt at 'food styling' (next stop, Nigella!). Unfortunately my phone seems to have disposed of the flash function altogether in favour of a murky, Bergman-esque half-light. It is an Ericsson though, so I suppose that's to be expected.

The fact that it was burnt and dry didn't stop me from stuffing pavement sized slabs of it in my gob, though. Mmm! Another culinary triumph from the kitchen of doom.


In the dim and distant past, roughly somewhere between decimalization and the rise of the internet, I was a TV reviewer for the Sunday Express. These days, it's a right wing old lady scare paper aimed at people who think Enoch Powell had a point, but in the late 90s it was edited by feminist Rosie Boycott who had the novel idea of employing 'women'. It also paid well which meant I spent two happy years slouching insensibly in various restaurants, slugging back wine and waving my fag in the air. Anyway, it was a brilliant job, brilliant even when the new Pauline Quirke drama dropped through the letterbox, and I long for it to this day. So I was glad to see that the Guardian managed to turn its attention away from Tim Dowling's dog for five seconds to celebrate the work of Nancy Banks-Smith, a true master of the craft. Her writing is funny, moving, graceful and more comforting than hot buttered toast. Take that Lucy Mangan, you wittering nincompoop.


I found out today that have to go for a second operation 'down there', due to a harmless lump of tissue which doesn't bother me, but might, if left unchecked, turn into a second head and start talking to me about feminine hygiene issues. I'm not as worried as I was the last time, because I actually enjoyed the general anaesthetic (first time in ages I'd had an uninterrupted sleep) and being in hospital was quite a nice rest - a bit like being in prison with 25 magazines about Cheryl Cole and a bar of Dairy Milk. Plus, my gynecologist, Mr T ('it's an inclusion cyst you crazy fool!') is a pleasingly low key gentleman who looks like he enjoys a nice glass of brandy in his study, surrounded by leather-bound copies of the Lancet. Which is good, because you don't want some berk in a loud jumper messing around with your gusset do you? You don't want Dr Timmy Mallet or Dr N. Edmonds or Dr Steve Wright In The Afternoon diddling with your diddle. No you do not.

Anyway, here's a nice photo of the cause of all my problems in the fancy hospital waiting room today. Good job he's cute, that's all I can say.