26 January 2007

Alpha Mummy

This just makes me want to spit. It's The Times' attempt at a blog for "mums who work, used to work, or want to go back to work one day". Aside from the fact that it's mostly a blatant promotional tool pointing you to old Times articles and that the blog posts could be comfortably filed under 'money for old rope', it's the general tone of the whole thing that really bugs me. It's the subtle insinuation that 'you're only worth something if you're involved with the world of work' which pisses me off.

You know, staying at home while your child is small should be classified as work too. I happen to think that it's a worthwhile thing to do. Yes, it wouldn't suit everyone. But it's a valid choice. And a difficult one too. So how about making those of us who do that feel loved and wanted for a change, instead of insinuating that we don't really count. Why not a blog that looks at things for all mothers? Or, to be honest, all parents?

Rant over. Heave chip off shoulder. I'm off to find a glass of wine.

25 January 2007

When Houses Attack

Slightly distracted recently, due to the fact that the house is getting its own back. The central heating/hot water boiler packed up on Monday night (which just happened to be the coldest night of the year), and then the shower managed to trip all the electrics on Wednesday morning, and has since been declared kaput. Marvellous.

Anyway, all is now fixed, and R has spent several happy hours looking for new showers on the internet. It's amazing what you can find - I particularly like the weirdness of the wireless shower, which you can set off from any room in the house. Sadly, it's probably out of our price bracket, which runs more to the Wickes end of the spectrum.

Oh, and I've got my voice back. Boy how I missed it.

19 January 2007

Little Voice

Still no bloody voice. I am so sick of whispering! I'd start using pen and paper, but it's so long since I've used anything other than a computer that my handwriting has gone to the dogs. And blown £500 on the first race, spent the rest of the evening complaining and then gone home in a huff.

Still, does give the rest of the family a chance to get their own back. I swear they've all gone selectively deaf...

18 January 2007

New shoes!

Though sadly not mine. They're teeny size 4 1/2, (which might give you a clue as to their new owner), lime green and beautifully flowery. M is going to look suitably hippy dippy for the next couple of months.

She's particularly confused today (as were the checkout operator in Sainsburys, the shop assistant in Clarks, and some poor woman who managed to telephone but had got the wrong number) as I have completely lost my voice. It was a bit of a novelty to start off with - I can't ever remember it happening before - but now it's a real pain in the arse. I didn't realise just how much I talk during the day now that M's around, and all I can do is a rather painful whisper, bracketed by much evil coughing. Which makes reading Meg and Mog 47 times rather a problem. I am Strepsilled up to the nines, but I'm not sure it's making any difference.

15 January 2007

Coffee cash

OK, so I've been a bit busy, and haven't got round to posting. But to make up for it, here's a photo of R's birthday cake which M and I made this afternoon...classic Vicky sponge, with a raspberry jam layer in the middle. There would have been cream, but there was none in the fridge, and as it was (a) blowing a gale and (b) freezing cold I couldn't be bothered to walk all the way to the shops. And check out the glass stand action - Nanna's cakestand is getting its first airing of 2007. Now what I really need is one of those glass domes that sits on top to stop the cake drying out...

So what have I been up to? Well, mostly eBaying...I've been bitten with the bug. My target at the moment is to earn enough from selling stuff (things we found when we moved that we no longer needed) to buy myself a proper Gaggia coffee machine. But it's addictive - I keep logging on to see how many people are watching or bidding on my items. So far they seem to be going down well...and I'm becoming well-known at the local post office (if only as "that irritating woman who insists on using her switch card for trivial amounts of money because she never has any cash on her"). I reckon £150 should do it - maybe by Christmas?

10 January 2007

Twirly bits.

Spent a while this evening drinking coffee in a civilised manner in the rather lovely Tyneside Coffee Rooms. The cappuccino's not as good as at the much lamented Intermezzo, but it makes a good substitute (note to self: must get round to writing up my highly biased 'guide to cappuccinos and other frothy coffees in Newcastle'. Which will have about three entries.)

Anyway, the Coffee Rooms currently live in the superbly grandiose Old Town Hall in Gateshead, for reasons too complicated to go into (Tyneside Cinema, refurbishment, lots of Lottery cash...). I have to say I rather like Victorian grandiose, particularly if it includes lots of twirly bits. There's probably a technical architechty term for all that kind of stuff - you know, all the fancy decoration on ceilings and pillars and the like. But twirly bits will have to do. And the Old Town Hall has them in spades, which is rather nice to look at while you're drinking coffee and pondering on the meaning of life, the universe and what you need to get done by the end of the month.

08 January 2007


Ooh, the excitement has reached fever pitch. Not only have I just ordered West Wing season 7 from play.com, but March of the Penguins has somehow made its way into the shopping basket. A certain small girl with a love of Pingu is going to be very very happy.

Actually, Pingu's one of the few things I can stomach on CBeebies. Most of the stuff is just tat - there's so many dire puppet shows (stand up The Shiny Show, Doodle Do, Fimbles and the like), irritating presenters or appallingly animated trains that I usually turn it off within five minutes. The poor lass is just going to have to make do with a couple of Pingu videos and Radio 4, I'm afraid...

05 January 2007

Arts Corner: Telly-tastic

Is it just me, or has this been the most ridiculous week for telly ever? Normally I watch a bit here and there, mainly (oh, the horror!) while having tea, but this week there's actually been things I've wanted to watch, ranging from Ken Branagh's making of the Magic Flute (bit of a left-field choice, but I've been a fan since seeing him do Hamlet), to Torchwood, This Life+10 and all the Monty Python stuff. I'll have square eyes by the end of it all. And you'll be bored witless with the Arts Corner interludes.

Here's the scores on the doors so far:

Arena - The Archers: dull, dull, dull apart from the last 5 minutes (4/10)
Torchwood: unintentionally hilarious (6/10)
This Life +10: disappointing (5/10 - with 1/10 for hair)
Kenneth Branagh Films The Magic Flute: still on video, awaiting consumption
What the Pythons Did Next: ditto
Green Wing Special: need you ask? (11/10)

I promise to go away and do something other than watch telly now. Like read a good, improving book, learn how to macrame or make muesli. Or simply have a life.

Oh, in other news, the starving swans have stopped being quite so vicious. Turned up today with M and a load of bread to be met with polite indifference. I think they've had a bonanza two weeks over Christmas, and are now planning a little light swanning about in a bid to work off some calories.

04 January 2007

It's Love, Actually

I have fallen in love.

Now, don't get your hopes up. I realise this could possibly be considered an overly dramatic way to open a blog post, but trust me, the more drama the better. Particularly when you realise that I'm talking about falling in love with a hand cream... Sad, I know, when that's the highlight of the year so far, but us suburbanites have to take what they can get.

So, in a bid to big up the dramatic tension, let's cue the romantic music, bring on some soft focus and shag pile carpets (that sounds a bit 1970s, but it's probably 'retro' or 'ironic' at the moment, and therefore very cool indeed), and introduce the product of the moment:

ta da! Banana hand cream. Who would have thought it? But it (a) smells gorgeous and (b) works a treat on knackered hands like what I have got. Even if wearing the lovely cotton gloves provided with it did remind R of his Nanna. Which is probably not de rigueur at bedtime.

03 January 2007

Arts Corner - This Life +10 (otherwise known as the Bad Hair Saga)

Oh, god, the hair. More specifically, Jack Davenport's. It wasn't just me, it was bad, wasn't it?

As you can probably tell, I got a tad distracted while watching This Life +10. Which was probably a good thing - it meant I stopped concentrating on the plot (frankly, quite poor), the dialogue (pretty good), the acting (well, they'd definitely improved over the last 10 years) and the 'will they, won't they' Miles and Anna scenario (surprisingly, I found I didn't really care). It was all a bit disappointing to be honest. There was some nice stuff amidst the predictable 'issues' - I really liked some of the scenes with the little lad, Egg and Milly - but that was probably because I was prime target 30-something-with-small-child-audience.

Ah well. At least there's the Green Wing special tomorrow...and the box set of West Wing series 7 in the post from Amazon.

Update: And don't even get me started on the final episode of Torchwood...

02 January 2007

Life, the universe and everything

Just watched This Life +10, like every other 30-something in the country.

Crikey. I feel old.

01 January 2007

Hippy Knew Yar

Happy New Year. Woo. And very possibly Hoo as well.

There's not much to report really. It's pouring down and blowing a gale outside, the Pythons are on the telly pretending to be Brian, and all is well with the world.

Here, in no particular order, are my resolutions for 2007. They'll probably last oooh, all of a week.

1. After last night, I will not make pot au chocolat for at least another six months.
2. Actually, while we're on the subject of food, I will give pineapple another go. And I'm prepared to extend an amnesty to marzipan.
3. I will go to bed before 11.30pm (except at weekends, or when Green Wing's on). Hey, this resolution thing is easy.
4. Erm...