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Friday afternoon gagfest

The other day, my friend, who was having a bit of a stressful day, asked me for a joke. In particular, he was quite keen on a ‘joke that he couldn’t tell at a polite dinner party’. I don’t know if he particularly wanted not to tell it at a polite dinner party, or if this was the type of joke that would make him feel better.

Still, I did my best, with the old favourite

Mickey Mouse is in court trying to get a divorce from his wife
“Now look here, Mr Mouse” says the judge “I am NOT going to grant you a divorce merely on the grounds that your wife has unfortunate dental problems, and that you’re uncommonly impolite about.”

“No no no” squeaks Mickey “I didn’t SAY she had dental problems. I said she was Fucking Goofy”

And still one of my favourites of all time…

There are two women sitting in the living room of one of their houses, chatting away, when the lady of the house happens to look out of the window.

“Oh God…” she says, annoyed, “Here comes my husband with a big bunch of flowers”

“But… but… that’s very romantic, don’t you think?” Says her friend.

“Romantic?! Ha!” Says the woman “Romantic? It just means I’m going to have to lie on my back all night with my legs wide open!”

“Oh I see.” Says her friend. “Haven’t you got a vase?”

Of course, I wish he’d asked me this afternoon instead, because some mysterious reader has just popped up in my inbox (woof!) with the immediate classic:

A journalist interviews Sir Paul McCartney:

Journalist: “So, Sir Paul, do you think that you will ever go down on one knee again?”

Sir Paul: “I’d prefer it if you called her Heather”.

Which would have made my sides ache, if they weren’t aching already for another reason I’ll tell you all about some other time. Then of course there was yesterday’s Popbitch joke:

Q: What’s the first sign of Madness?

A: Suggs walking up your drive

Which for once isn’t rude, but is quite funny. I love jokes. but as I get older, I’m forgetting them. This is an absolute travesty. Therefore, it’s good to have them written down somewhere. I mean, I’ve written down some of my favourite punchlines, but not really whole jokes: this is no good. I spent the other day desperately trying to remember one that I knew had a rabbit and some nails in, but otherwise couldn’t pin down. It was torture. Luckily, it came back – but soon I will be thirty, and may quite possibly lose my memory entirely (as well as the control of my bowels and all other things that come with this advance in age).
I need these things written down. The jokes, I mean. The rude ones, AND also the notrude ones. All of them. That’s what we need.

And actually, on the ‘not rude but quite funny theme, there’s always:

A woman walks into a cocktail bar and asks for a double entendre.
So the barman gives her one.

So there we are, it’s Friday, and we are in a Friday mood. Also, I don’t know how much internet I am going to get over the weekend and like to encourage a bit of talking-(or joke swapping)-amongst-yourselving.
So any contributions to my stressed friend joke fund greatly appreciated.
Tell us a joke?

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Lotus Totus Myars

You know, I wrote a post a few years ago about forwarded emails – the main gripe of which was that it ended:

0-4 persons: Your life will improve slightly
5-9 persons: Your life will improve to your liking
9-14 persons: You will have at least 5 surprises in the next
three weeks
15 or more persons: Your life will improve drastically and all
that you have always dreamed will come true

Which seemed like a particularly flavoursome breed of tripe.

Anyway, at the top of that email it said, probably: “If you DO NOT forward this you will get a very unpleasant surprise!” or, at least I’m guessing it said that, because I didn’t forward it, of course, and this week received a Very Unpleasant Surprise.

Same email. Or similar. Not sure i actually read it. Anyway. Here it came again.

Three times. And each time… Fwd;Fwd;Fwd;Fwd;Fwd…

The Lotus totus….

The whatty-what, now?

You have 6 minutes

6 minutes … 6 minutes Doug E Fresh, you’er oh-oh-on. Ah-ah-on. Sorry. Joke for two people (me and my sister, probably). Anyway.

I have six minutes?! My GOD! It’s taken me six minutes to scroll down all the previous email adresses this has been spammed to sent to previously! My GOD, I’m ALMOST OUT OF TIME.

There’s some mighty fine advice in these words, even if you’re not superstitious.

Well that’s exciting. I can barely hang on to my wee, I am that excited.

No, to be serious, it’s always good to get advice from a friend, and since these emails always come from friends, albeit friends that you perhaps haven’t seen for a good few years, it’s really, really nice of them to offer this.

This Lotus Totus has been sent to you for good luck.

The what? Jesus! Hurry! I’ve only got about twelve seconds of my six minutes left! Running on borrowed time, people.

Anyway, sorry to deviate, but surely a little personalised “Dear anna, good luck, lots of love ‘person with your email address in his address book’” would have done the job? Maybe? Or, no? Well, I don’t know, whatever.


It has been sent around the world ten times so far.

Oh has it buggery bollocks. Just because some idiot spammed it to people he met while backpacking in Australia and coincidentally some idiot Australian sent it to some people she met in a Walkabout in London, it does not mean it’s ‘been around the world ten times’, it means it’s landed unwelcomly in far too many email boxes internationally already.

Although I’m imagining a ribbon of patchouli-scented spam circling the world severally. It’s disgusting, but a bit funny. Only a bit.

Do not keep this message.

Don’t worry, I won’t.

The Lotus Totus must leave your hands in 6 MINUTES. Otherwise you will get a very unpleasant surprise. This is true, even if you are not superstitious, agnostic, or otherwise faith impaired.

Sorry what hm? Are you on crack?

ONE. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully.

By ‘more than they expect’, do you mean ‘spam email’? Because to be honest with you I wasn’t really expecting spam email, so you’ve played a blinder there…

TWO. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you get older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other.

TWO Marry a man-woman you can trust not to send you hokey lists of absolute toss. As you get older, you’ll find you recieve less hokey lists of absolute toss in email form.

THREE. Don’t believe all you hear, spend all you have or sleep all you want.

Whatever you do, trust no one, fuck charity, and stay awake at all hours.
Fuckin’ paranoid sleepdeprived penny pincher.
I can stand many things, but I cannot stand a sleep-nazi.

FOUR. When you say, “I love you,” mean it!

When I say “Hon, it’s always great to hear from you, but can you PLEASE stop forwarding me crap?”, listen!

FIVE. When you say, “I’m sorry,” look the person in the eye.

If they send you spam – poke them in the eye! With a stick!

SIX. Be engaged at least six months before you get married.

Where did THAT come from?

SEVEN. Believe in love at first! sight.

But make sure you don’t do ANYTHING about it for at least six months. Point Six, meet Point Seven! Seven, Six…

EIGHT. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams. People who don’t have dreams don’t have much.

Except maybe spam.

I had a dream the other night where this monkey was trying to steal my shoes. And then he did steal my shoes, and then I sneezed my special emergency sneeze, and Captain Caveman turned up and helped me chase him, and then suddenly I was at work. And then my head fell off.

See, I told my beloved about this, and he laughed at my dream. Bastard.
I punch him in the knees. I will. Hang on.


NINE. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it’s the only way to live life completely.

Yes, but at the same time, don’t commit yourself to anything for at least six months, because that would just be *stupid*, and also lead you into contravention of point six, which probably leads to some kind of to bad luck, death of pets etc.

TEN. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling.

So calling people who forward pointless superstitious-inbox-bollocks complete idiots ISN’T the ideal way forward, you’re saying? Oh boo.
Booooooo, it was such fun.

Well then I should fight fairly? Fine. But HOW? I will think on this…


ELEVEN. Don’t judge people by their relatives.

Instead judge them by the fact they think that if they forward a nonsensical drivel to ’15+ people their lives will improve beyond their wildest dreams and everything they want will come true!!!’? Yes. Surely, that is a measure of an emailer.

Personally, though, I think I could learn more by meeting their mother. Or, you know, father. And maybe going back in time and vasectomising him.

TWELVE. Talk slowly but think quickly.

Also, skim read, and when it comes to hitting that ‘forward button’, be like lightning, my child!

THIRTEEN. When someone asks you a question you don’t want to answer, smile and ask, “Why do you want to know?”

“Why do I want to know? Because silly as it is, the little message that says New mail (1) is still exciting to me after all these years, and when I open it up and see it’s from someone who I counted a friend, my heart lifts, thinking I might hear news of their life, or perhaps go out for a drink… And then I open it and all it is is a slab of witless superstition, and a waste of my time and expectation. So please, don’t be coy – tell me: why don’t you reply to my emails asking how you are? why DO you send me this shit?

FOURTEEN. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

I’m getting bored now.

FIFTEEN. Say “bless you” when you hear someone sneeze.

Seriously. Fuck off. There are surely a finite useful words I will consume in my lifetime. You are using up too many of them.

And so it rolls on…

SEVENTEEN. Remember the three R’s: Respect for self; Respect for others; and Responsibility for all your actions.


EIGHTEEN. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

But I can let a little email injure a now-vague acquaintanceship, right?

NINETEEN. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

Or Maybe just familiarise yourself with the ‘Move to Trash’ button. Many good things will happen to you and positive energy will flood over you from the cosmos because of it. If you do not do it within a MINUTE, an unfortunate incident will befall you! Possibly involving me kicking you in the vadge. If you have one, otherwise I will settle for thise testicle things.

TWENTY. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice.

Excellent. Unable to think of any more ill-considered, disjointed piddle, we’ve moved on to copying out section headings from ‘Welcome to Your New Job: How To be a Call Centre Representative’

TWENTY-ONE. Spend some time alone.!

Thank you. I will.

Now, here’s the FUN part!

Oh! Come on then…

Send this to at least 5 people and your life will improve.
> > >1-4 people: Your life will improve slightly.
> > >5-9 people: Your life will improve to your liking.
> > >9-14 people: You will have at least 5 surprises in
> > the next 3 weeks
> > >15 and above: Your life will improve drastically
> > and everyt! hing you ever
> > >dreamed of will begin to take shape.

Right. Right. When you said the ‘fun’ part, you meant that part.

Well, thanks very much, I’ve had SUCH fun.

Oh. There’s more. There’s an end note.

A true friend is someone who reaches for your hand and touches your heart.

It’s funny. I can’t say this enough (clearly, because I’ve already said it four hundred thousand times in this post alone):
A good friend is one who knows enough about you to know that you hate these emails more than anything, and doesn’t. fucking. forward. them. to. you.

In response to point ten (Fight fairly…) I have been considering how to fight fairly. And the only way I can think of is this;
– Go through all four of the versions of this email I have been sent. Collect the addresses of all the people who’ve actually forwarded this bilge in the past. Not the people they sent it to, the people who actually forwarded it.
– Paste list into a new email
– Write a new version of the list, or any list, with reasons explaining why wanky new-age self-help lists are annoying, and they are a twat.
– End with the dreadful blessing/curse mix, but adapted…

If you forward this to more than ten people: bad things will happen to you and your loved ones and you will die, within the week.
If you forward this to more than five people: your arms and legs will fall off, but you will not die within the week. Maybe within the month.
If you forward this to more than two people: You will get mild earache, but will otherwise be fine.
If you forward this to NO people, and promise never to do it again: Good things will happen to you! Karma will be kind to you, the heavens will smile upon you and no one will set fire to your curtains.

– Hit send.

And you know what? I would do that, but I can’t.

I can’t, because I can’t stand the idea of being antisocial and moronic enough to spam that many people.


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I’m with the band

Before I begin…: I realise this is not a subject new to the web, that Older, cooler people than I have already talked about this at length. And it’s generally recognised that postmen dropping red rubber bands in the street is a BAD thing because they are non-recyclable and litter etc, but anyway, disclaimer over, here’s my point….


For those who haven’t noticed (and they do exist, I was walking down the street with three of them the other week), and for those who don’t perhaps have the pleasure of walking our litter-strewn streets daily, the British postman-woman has a problem with his rubber.

See, letters (mail) are (is a) fiddly little things (singular, sorry, I’m going to stop doing this now) which need bundling together in some way, else they get frisky and fly away. Or something. So the dextrous redrubberbandificators at the postal depot strap them together, and give them to the postpeople and they take them for walks out on the rough streets of gangland britain. Sorry, I’m bored.

Anyway. They drop the rubber bands. On the street, in the gutter, on stairwells and in hedges. It is bad, and people complain about it. They should recycle them, they should pick them up, they should reuse them. It is all true.

Thing is … thing is, I kind of like them.

When I was in Italy a few weeks ago, we were in the middle of the countryside, in Umbria, and I fell madly in love with it all. Partly it was the food, partly the pace, partly the scenery in general, but there is a little bit of falling-in-love-ness that was due to the poppies. You’d be banging along a quite dull dual carriageway, and suddenly there they were, a smattering of poppies – bright red splashes bursting through the beige wheatfields or the green otherfields or the grey roads, and every single time, they lifted my heart a tiny bit.

And I know it sounds stupid to say the same thing about red rubber bands, but it’s true.

Though they are, unavoidably, litter and should be recycled and or not there in the first place, the fact that they provide a tiny, surprising burst of colour in the gutter or dark stairwell, or the crack of a wall makes my heart jump a little (in a good way), and I like them.

Anyway, I do recycle them a little tiny bit. I have one round my Moleskine, to hold my favourite Moleskine-writing-pen in place. I have one round my water bottle, to distinguish it from others on my desk, or at the gym. I have about four in my bag. For, you know, stuff. I considered making my hair into bunches with two of them this morning (didn’t) and am considering following the example of so many others, and making a big ball of them (might).

But that’s not why I love them. Not for their use, but for their ornament.
Not because of what they are in themselves but because of where they are.
I know they’re litter, but love them for that very fact.
Most of all, on a rainy day, tramping to the office with my head down, keeping my hair out of my eyes and my eyes on my shoes, they bring life and colour to my day, and I smile, and I love them the most, then.

Sorry, disgusted of Tumbridge Wells, but your litter is my sunshine.

Also, I love them because in searching for links for this post, I found this picture, which really makes me laugh. I don’t know why.

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Miles off

Air miles, we thought. At some point, after my beloved has finished his flurry of buggering off to America and back, and after everything settles down and I start to need to find some sun, we should go away. Somewhere. Together, perhaps. Somewhere (somewhere that wasn’t on the Farringdon to Brighton line) And maybe, to facilitate this, we can get us some of those air mile things. Granted, we don’t know much about these mythical miles of air, but we know that they exist, and that marvellous things can be done with them if you close your eyes and wish hard.

Not possible, of course. Even if the points belonged to him, it’s not as if he could spread them around, is it?

And then we would be stuck with a problem. Someone told me a story a couple of years back – and if it’s one of you that told me it, I apologise. Actually, I would like to know who told me the story, so do let me know…


It was a friend of theirs who got married. Flew off to their honeymoon, which was somewhere very beautiful, and exotic.
Perhaps 11 hours away or something. He used to fly a lot for work, so, with the air miles he’d built up, he flew Highest-top-quality-first-upper-upper Class.
His new wife flew economy.

I don’t know why this story has stuck with me so. It’s just the idea of the wife, stewing in cattle-class, staring at the forbidding curtain and the laughter behind it. For me, I have to say, it wouldn’t be the best way in the world to start marriage.

Not that I’m getting married. Keep your socks on if you’re reading, mother. Still not planning on ever getting married. Put that hat down, and walk away.

I can just imagine them arriving at the hotel. He bounding into the room first, smelling fresh and lovely, frequently freshningtowelsir?-ed down. She following after, perhaps with the bags. She has had someone else’s toddler shouting in her ear all night. And hasn’t slept for what feels like 900 years. And has the world’s biggest ankles.

Hey!” He says “This is great!

She stares at him.

This is just fantastic! What do you want to do first, darling?!” He says.

She carries on staring at him.

Hey! Let’s have sex!
He says.

And I can’t decide what, in the little scene in my head she would do, then – or what I would, in her situation.

Some, you see, would go for the screaming and nutkicking option, but I can’t honestly say that I would be able to do anything but stare.

Stare and THEN kick in the balls, obviously.

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Tick my box, baby

So, for reasons entirely too self-absorbed and depressing to go into, I decided that if I was unhappy with my universal blog reach, I should do something about it, and went a-whoring in the dive bars and meat markets of Blogland, the red light district of the world of blurnal. Yes, I went and tried to add myself to directories and blogrings.
Doomy music and thunderslap here.

See, I keep meaning to, I just, don’t, you know, get very far. Mainly because I’m a technical idiot. Technically.
That wasn’t the case the time, though. Yes, I did fall at the first directory thing,but not because I was flummoxed by the demand for reciprocal coding and buttons and wedgwits and flapdoodle, but because I suffered a crisis of indecision. Because the first thing I was faced with, you see, was a box. A pop up box, with approximately 400 MILLION different choices.

Only tick five, it said, but make sure those five are things that you talk about often and not just every now and again.

Well that’ll be easy, I thought. I may have quite a limited range, but there are certain genres and themes that I return to, so this shouldn’t be too hard.

In the activism section I got stuck first. ID cards and War on Terror, Party Politics and Fat Acceptance. No, no, I don’t think my blog is about those things. Well, I suppose it might be tacitly about fat acceptance, but not overtly … so I carried on down the list… Breed Specific Dog Legislation? There are whole blogs about this? Wow. Cool. Unfortunately, mine isn’t one of them.

Ah! The hobbies and interests section. This has got to have something in I can tick. Hm. Aviation/flying well, I do fly a fair amount but no, surely sailing would be more appropriate but no, no, I don’t actually sail, do I? Hm. Cloud watching. That’s probably the closest we’ve come so far to describing what happens on my blog. Lock-picking?! There’s a whole subgenre of blogs about lockpicking? This could be very useful. Ah, there we are, a tick box for Blogs About Smokeless Tobacco. Brilliant. I should write more about smokeless tobacco. I could start with a long post entitled “What the hell is the point of smokeless tobacco. Screw that, What IS smokeless tobacco?”

Lifestyle choices. Excellent. This has got to have something in. ‘Choosing to write beans for fun and for a preffered living’. Is that there? Well let’s just have a look…

20-Something [] 30-Something [] 40-Something [] 50-Something Anarchist [] Antisocial Baby Boomer [] Barefooter [] Bike Messenger [] Biker [] Biracial [] Bisexual [] Black Nationalism [] Burning Man [] Cacaphonist [] Car Free Celibacy [] Childfree [] Children [] Christian Living [] Cooperatives [] Cowboys [] Culture [] Jammers [] Cyberculture [] Cyberculture [] Drug Culture [] Electronica/Club [] Expatriates [] Gangs [] Geeks [] Generation X [] GLBT [] Gothic [] Greasers [] Groupies [] Grrrls [] Hip-Hop [] Hippie [] Homeschooling [] Indigenous Peoples [] Industrial Left-Handers [] Lounge Culture [] Luddism [] Micronations [] Migrant Farmworkers [] Militias [] Modern Primitives [] Mods [] Multiracial [] Nudists and Naturists [] Pagan [] Primitive Living [] Punk [] Rave [] Real Vampires [] Redheads [] Rivetheads [] Rural [] Seniors [] SFF [] Singles [] Skater [] Skinhead [] Slackers [] Soccer Hooligans [] Straight Edge [] Suburban Surfer Suvivalists [] Swinging Tall People [] Teenagers [] Transgendered Truckers [] Urban Veganism [] Vegetarianism []
Voluntary Simplicity []

(I admit I may have compressed some of those genres together, by accident. Well, sort of by accident. Also, let’s get this out of the way, LUDDISM?! Blogs dedicated to the rejection of the advance of technology etc?! Fucking genius)

Nothing. There was nothing. Everyone in the world, I decided, has more exciting blogs than me.

There was only one list at the bottom I could vaguely fit into. Labelled ‘Meta’.

Personal Weblog [] Photolog [] Weblog []

And I decided that I had no real place joining a directory if these were the only things I had to offer. When the weblogs of the world can offer the reading masses Multiracial Left-Handed Lockpickers with an interest in Classical Music and Breed-Specific Dog Legislation, then God DAMN how can I compete?

So I didn’t join the complicated directory thing. I think if I’m just going to sit here and talk about beans, it’s probably better to do it quietly, and try not to bother anyone. Anyway, it’s nicest that way.

Nicest. Jesus. I was looking through one of my old Moleskine diaries from about 2003 and there was a scribbled line that was undoubtably intended for this site, though I don’t know if I made it in here:

Some study published somewhere says that women have a vocabulary twice as big as mens. I think that that is good. I also think it is nice.

I don’t know what genre of blog that fits into. Beans. Long live beans.


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Comment of the week (insert theme music here)

No no no, not a brand new feature from your friendly neighbourhood boat of redness, just wanted to point out a comment that I loved, but you probably didn’t see.

Actually, on the topic of comments, I’ve been meaning to say thank you for the recent deluge of commenty things. It’s incredible. And very, very funny. So, if I haven’t acknowledged or replied to your comment, apologies. Also, if you are new here, or recently delurked, and I haven’t said hello, or welcome, or acknowledged you comment, then many apologies. It is because I am woefully short of internet. Which is a very, very bad way to be in. I am very cross about it. Let us leave the matter for the time being. But I jsut wanted to asy how lovely it’s been, and Sorry for not halloing or welcoming or replying to whatever it was you said. So “hello”. And “welcome”. And “yeah, I thought so too, but worried it might lead to chaffing”

See a wee rant on the nature of Thomas Kinkade, Painter of Light and how much I loathe him still, by the magic of googlejuice, seems to attract visitors who want to agree or disagree or simply find some deconstructive way of filling their lunchhour. So I know these comments are there, because all comments get emailed to me, but you don’t, unless you thought I was ‘funnier in april’ and have decided only to read posts from that month. Over and over again.

Anyway – so you can share (and this is copy and pasted, so no complaints about spelling, please) – this is the comment that has made me laugh the most this week. Well, there were some other very, very funny ones actually written on the last few day’s posts, but none of them had the earnest criticism, coupled with an impending sense of phychosis that made this my (theme music) *comment of the week!!!*

Thomas Kinkade is a capatalist Bastard
if an artist does work lely for money then..

1) they are not an artist. they are a buisnessman
2) the “art is not from the heart”
3) they are nto worthy enough to hold the talent of artisticly expressing themselves

he sux and he could be spreading a greater message with the “talent” he has

his eerie cottages gives me the creeps

maybe he should paint a patriotic scene of him fucking george bush in the moonlight while dick cheney rides through the town on one of those stupit chariot things with the horses dressed in a santa clause suit.

Genius. Thank you.

Also, it has bits in that rhyme. I honestly couldn’t like this comment any more.

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I don’t know why, but everywhere I’ve ever worked – theatres, bars, offices and abbeys – there is always, in the communal toilets, one toilet that seems to be preferred for solid disposals. For post-lunch retirement. For … you get the idea.

Anyway, there’s no real point to this post. Just – yesterday, encountering and avoiding one of these for the millionth time, I settled on the word ‘poobicle’ – a word for the cloistered closet that everyone mysteriously seems to choose as the optimum shit-location. As in ‘Oooh, well, go in there if you must, but avoid the poobicle…

And that’s all. I like the word poobicle. I keep thinking of it. And it keeps making me laugh.
That’s it, really.

As you were.

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Not nearly Lydia enough

I’ve thought long and hard about getting a tattoo. No, that’s not quite true. I’ve thought long (too much time on public transport) but not hard (bear of little brain), and have generally come to the conclusion that yes, I would like one, but no, I don’t know where. Or of what. Or why.

A star, perhaps. Or a little boat. Or maybe just a return address. Thing is, in keeping with my general philosophy the tattoo should really have purpose as well as art. Unless, of course, it’s purpose IS art. As you can imagine, this kind of indulgence of conceptual musing has long led to unshiftable indecision, and no tattoo.

This must be rectified. I live in Brighton now, after all. They might be able to evict you for not having a tattoo. So I MUST have a tattoo.

But what?

For a long time in my teens, I was swayed by the idea of Japanese characters, and wanted one on each foot. The problem was trying to decide what they should say. ‘Peace’ and ‘Hope’, perhaps. Or maybe ‘Love’ and ‘Justice’. Or ‘Power’ and ‘Faith’.

And then a friend suggested ‘Right’ and ‘Left’. And I realised that that was the only possible solution, and if I couldn’t have that, I wasn’t having anything. Art AND purpose, you see?

If only I’d actually got around to it/had the cojones/done more than just talk. Talk is cheap. Cheaper than tattoos. Talking is good, but talking doesn’t get you tattooed. Unless you are talking to a tattooist, and you say ‘Can I have a tattoo please?’. Then it does. I never do that, though. So I still don’t have a tattoo. I should get a tattoo. But what? What?

A swirly sun thing? Too mid-nineties.

My url? How geeky am I?

I used to want ‘Inshallah’ (sp?)(If God wills it – roughly)(Not ‘if god wills it roughly’, that sounds a bit wrong) written in Arabic on my wrist, big poncey fatalist that I am, I don’t know where that idea went.

Maybe a butterfly? No, it would have to be a very specific butterfly, and I can’t find the print with it on. It’s in a box somewhere.

Maybe a little @, to symbolise that I am at myself. No, that’s wank. Geeky wank at that.

Perhaps my beloved’s name, and a heart with an arrow. Perhaps not. It is an awful idea. Also, he has a silly name which is spelt like a girl’s name, and I might get often mistaken for a lesbain in the gym. Not that there is ANYTHING wrong with lesbains in the gym. Or anywhere else for that matter. Go lesbains. Hm. I’m a bit tired today, sorry.

Perhaps the words ‘Heaven this way’ on my inner thigh with an arrow pointing up. Because then I could pretend I was an ex-crackwhore prostitute and get a book deal. Or just make my coroner laugh, one day.

Perhaps washing instructions. I would like that. A little handwashing symbol saying ’40°’ and a little iron crossed out, with the words ‘Do not iron’ – which could double as both instructions AND a statement of fact.

Maybe a little picture of an ant. No, it would look like a blob too soon, I think. Still, that would be quite representative of what most ants look like in my house. Squish. Bloody ants.

Perhaps a rainbow. No, a cloud with the sun coming out from behind, just like those magnetic ones they used to have on the BBC. Oh yes.

A bird like the ones on this site? A large swistika on my neck? A balloon? A lizard? A perfectly scaled rendition of a keyboard on my back in the hope that people might be fooled into giving me massages? A daisy? An angel? A banana? I DON’T KNOW. It is IMPOSSIBLE.

No, I cannot decide. Although I was thinking about this on the train last night, and am now considering geting the words ‘TOiLeT PaPeR‘ tattooed on my left hand, upwards, on the mound of flesh next to my thumb. This would have two rational undeniable up-sides.

1) It being something that is written on my hand quite often anyway, this would save both a) time and b) ink-money and
2) I would never, EVER run out of toilet paper.

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Inside leg

I didn’t get a picture, but on our way through Brixton the day of the big move we drove past a shop with a fabulous, fabulous name. It has been my favourite shop name for, ooh, WEEKS now.

It was called, quite simply


And makes me think of men, shouting from the front door – “Darling! I willl be back in a while. I am going to Touch Down Menswear”.

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How green is my valley
[NB not strictly MY valley, more A valley]

There are things, certain things, little things that never, never fail to make me happy.

On the way to work, about 20 minutes after pulling out of the station of my new home town, for example, the land drops away on either side and the train trundles over a viaduct. The valley below is so green, so fertile, so incredibly, terribly English that it makes me unbearably happy every time I see it.

I can only imagine how it will change with the seasons – and wanting to see that change makes me purposefully stay awake until I’ve passed my valley, or wake myself up from my post-work-slump in time to see it. Sometimes there’s a hot air balloon.

If I am on the way home it’s doubly lovely, because not only is it there, and in itself breathtaking (in an understated English rolly-hill kind of way), but because it means that I am almost home.

Honestly, you should see it, it’s beautiful.

Sometimes I look not out at the landscape but in at the faces of the other people on the train. You see them turn from their books and their papers and sit back a little, and breathe out, and smile, like I always do, at the fields rolling away into the trees and the idyllic farmhouses and the rabbits and the sunsets and the balloons.

I’m not sure that ‘having a favourite bit of the commute’ was ever on my list of things to get once we’d moved.
But it should have been.

I’m glad I have it.

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I repent

Right, sorry about that, strop over, apologies.

So this morning, you’ll be glad to hear, to punish myself for being so pointlessly mardy and publicly stroppy, I hate an apple.

I, anti-apple Anna Pickard, A1 apple-hater extraordinaire ate an apple. A whole, live apple. Raw. With my very own teeth.

Well, half an apple, but the thought was there.

Granted, I felt very, very bad for the other people on the train, and kept looking around to check that none of them were displaying classic symptoms of the ‘Yes ALRIGHT, we GET it, you’re eating an apple, well done. Now shutthefuckup!‘ inner monologue, but none of them were, so I might have been ok.

I might have lucked myself onto a train with a bunch of normal people.

I know my opinion of apples isn’t quite normal. Of course I do. I don’t know when I started hating apples quite this much though – ten years ago, maybe? More?

Mainly it’s the sound of them, the snap of the teeth through skin, followed by the crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch. Then the teeth through skin, followed by the crunch-crunch-crunch-crunch, then the… you get the idea.

So this morning, picking up a bottle of water at the station and thinking about the sheer immaturity and ingratitude of yesterday’s post, I, on the spur, picked up an apple. As penance.

We sat on the train, apple and I, me and the apple, staring at each other, contemptuously.

It’s not the flavour, you see, the flavour is fine, the flavour is peachy. Peachy in an appley kind of way.

But as I snicked the skin with my two front teeth and drew it back from the glistening flesh underneath, I suddenly remembered what the problem was eating them is. I remembered in a ‘Ah! I see! First bite of apple equals the unbearable urge to spit or sick everywhere! I SEE!’ kind of way.

It’s the skin. I rolled it around my mouth, trying the grind it into nothing between my back teeth but still, at the end, I was left with a shard of skin scratching down my throat ready to choke me at any second. It didn’t, of course – but that was because it knew I was looking.

Still, once through the vile veil, I nibbled unhappily with gritted teeth (it’s quite a feat, I tell you) through half of the whole damn thing. And then it beat me.

But there. Anyone who was cross with me for being quite so whiney about things yesterday, I can only hope this act of grumpentance helped a little bit. I can only really, really hope that, because just sitting here trying to describe it all again has made me want to spitsick.

Thank you for not shouting at the whinger as much as she deserved, yesterday.
And apologies for referring to myself in third person. You can shout at me for that if you like.

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I hate

1. Oh, lots of things. Apples? I hate people who eat apples.

2. I hate idiot English football fans who wear uniforms of a war more than half a century ago or sing songs of a football match 40 years ago. I hate that my beloved country is a sore loser and an even worse victor.

3. I hate that the 600-word verbose and hilarious post I had composed in my head about football has just been condensed into a rather ugly two-sentence rant.

4. I hate being obsessive about my blog.

5. I hate that I care so fucking much about how many readers I have, or how many I have lost because I’m not as funny as I was in 2003, or because I don’t reply to their comments or email.

6. I hate that I can’t reply to all the comments and email.

7. I hate that I was funnier in 2003, or more prolific or something, when I was a mature (sic) student and had time rolling out of my ears.

8. I hate having no internet connection in my house. I hate it so very much.

9. More than that, I hate having the faint nefarious promise of someone else’s wireless internet connection floating through the walls from three doors away and always dropping out just when you think you could get something done.

10. I hate that I’m not happy with the things I write when it takes so much time and fuckaboutness to get anything done in the first place. I hate than I’m not happy with the things I write probably BECAUSE it takes so much time and fuckaboutness to get anything done in the first place.

11. I hate that I can’t get any further than this. I hate that I’m not as good as other people. I hate that I don’t have the time to do better. I hate that I don’t have the resources. I hate that I don’t have the talent. I hate that these five years of words will all pobably disappear in a systems failure and never be seen again.

12. I hate making people listen to me whine, and I hate that I, on principle, won’t delete this frustrated outpouring of crap from my site. I hate principles.

13. I hate that there are thousands of bloggers making money out of the 800,000 google ads on their page. I hate google for making their ads so damned ugly.

14. I hate spammers, who are always on the verge of making this whole enterprise not fun. I hate that they set up fake blogs and put me on their blogroll, meaning I can’t automatically link to the people who kindly link to me. I hate that they put comments on posts that are still places where nice people are having interesting conversations, and ruin it.

15. I hate the sign that says New Mail (1), when all you’ve got is a request from a desperate lawyer in Nigeria who calls you Hello My Dear PICKARD and begs you to take $1,000,000USD off their hands if only you’ll give them your bank details to deposit it in.

16. I hate it when my beloved goes away (with his laptop) and I have nothing to do, not even watch the telly, because I haven’t got one at the moment.

17. I hate not having a television. I hate not having a single friend in my new home town.

18. I hate that not updating my blog feels like letting my friends down.

19. I hate that I’m too ambitious and not ambitious enough.

20. I hate that I’m going to be worrying about this list all day, panicking that someone will take something personally, when none of it is personally dismissive or disparaging of anyone but myself.

21. I hate that I’ve written all this here. I’m sorry.

22. I hate people who have a tantrum and go on a ridiculously short hiatus when probably no one would notice if they just shut the hell up about things and posted when they were able to.

I hate it. I hate it all. It’s stupid. I also hate PMT, incidentally, which has NOTHING to do with ANY of this, and anyone who says it does, particularly anyone who suggests it and is MALE, will get a punch in the face.

< Goes off on short and ill-advised and quite possibly ludicrous hiatus of somewhere between 24 hours and whenever her fucking internet gets connected at home >

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As stubborn as an anna

Yes, I know the ‘what time do you go to bed’ post may have looked like a desperate blogger’s ‘Hey! What’s your favourite cheese?’ question, but it did have a point behind it really.
No, really, it did.

See, we have this argument quite often in this house. More often, in fact, of late. It’s the kind of ‘I know best’/'I don’t care’ argument that one might of thought, in fact, you finished having some time in your early teens. It seems not.

When it comes to going to bed, intention seems to be the most important factor. A great many of the people who commented admitted to intending to go to bed at something-remotely-sensible PM, but Actually going to bed at Oh-bother o’clock in the morning by mistake.

See, the problem round here is that I don’t even have the good intentions.

It is partly because I’m full of joie-de-vivre, and partly because there’s just so much to do on these beautiful, long summer nights, but mainly because I’m as stubborn as a PMT suffrin’ pig.
But no, not only the stubborn thing. It’s also the ability to turn molehills – nay, anthills – nay! Amoeba-nipples - into mountains. Or, in fact, entire planets, depending on the phase of the moon and the stress-level of the week.

My beloved’s rationale: It is late. And after having a long day today, it is an early start tomorrow, and going to bed now will ensure the greatest amount of sleep possible.

Yeah, yeah, I can see you nodding in god-forsaken sensible agreement. Whatever. To win you over:

MY rationale: Although life choices, and, you know, THE MAN dictate what time I must get up in the morning, no one, but No one can dictate when I go to bed. No one tells me what to do. No one.

I refuse to live a life that runs sleep-travel-work-travel-feed-sleep-travel-work-travel-feed-sleep. How is that any life at all? It is no life. It certainly won’t be mine.

So thus, it seems to work, or not work: The longer hours I work, the later I arrive home, the later I arrive home, the less I want to go to bed early, the less I go to bed early, the tireder I become as the week goes on, so the later I work, the less I agree to sleep, the blah, blah, blah, etc.

Sometimes we’ll go to bed seperately, but he’s learnt that if he does that, it’s quite unlikely that I come to bed at all, seeing as I have important things to do on the internet that can only possibly be done in My Time, and he will stumble out in the middle of the night ony to find me snoozing, pooter-side.

I thought we were the only people in the world that argued about this – which was of course bollocks. And as if to prove that fact, the morning after we’d conversed the most vigorously about it, I went into work and found this article in the paper languishing on my desk. And sent it to my beloved. Weirdly, we both thought it made our seperate cases.

It’s not sensible, I know it’s not. But I’ve always been this way, and since I’m too alright with myself to change (this is both new, and a bit weird), I will just have to find ways of working around it.

Like maybe not working too late. Or maybe sleeping on the train. Or maybe occasionally giving in. Or maybe joining the gym.

No, I’m not sure how that last one is supposed to help, either.

Doesn’t stop the fact that I seem to have just done it.
Now that’s VERY odd.
And if only I had proper internet, I’d tell you all about it…

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The question I asked DID have a point – I just haven’t been able to make it because of lack of internet all fricking weekend.

I will make my point shortly.

In the meantime, look at this outdoor Swiss ad campaign from Amnesty International.

I think it’s amazing. The text reads, in various languages ‘It’s not happening here, but it’s happening now’.

It’s a technique that I found interesting in a ‘how do they DO that?!’ kind of way in the whole flickr tansparency meme thing but used in this context, I just think they’re incredibly powerful.

Anyway. Back in tick.

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This is a little red boat. Little, red, and boaty.

I still post. Occasionally. Honest, I do.