Thursday, 20 August 2009

A child's guide to the World Athletics Championships

We are a sporty family. As former rowers (amongst other activities such as sailing, running, skiing, windsurfing, cycling to name some) it was inevitable that the kids would grow up with an emphasis on getting out and about, whatever the weather, and either taking part in or learning something that involved physical activity.

As a consequence they have been avid watchers of the World Athletic Championships in Berlin this past week. What has caught us (slightly) off guard have been some of the questions raised. Here is a sample:

Mr Man - Why is he so fat? (referring to the male shot put contestants)

Blossom - Does his red hair make him jump better? (Phillips Idowu in the triple jump)

Widget - Why are they jumping in the puddle? (men's steeplechase)

Mr Man - How does the stick bend and not break? (pole vault)

Widget - What team are they playing for? (women's 100m final)

Blossom - Is she a man? (women's shot put - mind you, I asked much the same question)

And the most relevant:

Mr Man - Why does Bolt always win?

Despite trying to answer these questions as best as we could (Other Half tried discussing mass and power with Mr Man to explain how the shot put worked but lost his attention as soon as another race got underway), I take heart that they all asked whether they "could do that" when they are bigger.

The interesting issue will be which country they decide to represent: Great Britain, Italy or Australia.

My money is on whichever one has a national uniform in their favourite colour.

Children. So fickle.

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Wish you were here - postcards from the edge of sanity

Hot on the heels of Kat and Fraught Mummy, I hereto also wish to post some rantings:


Dear Righteous Lady on the Tube

If I open the window at the end of the carriage it is to increase ventilation on a hot stuffy day.

If you would prefer to smell other people's body odours for the duration of your journey, that is fine with me, just do it somewhere else. Do NOT, however, close the window again.

Next time I will personally eject you from the train. At the station of course. And there will cheering from the sidelines.

Yours hot and bothered,



Dear Very Obviously Pregnant Lady on the Tube

I am happy to give up my seat for you. You don't have to ask. In fact, you never do. I wish you would. This is the third time in two weeks I have done this whilst that fat bloke over the aisle pretends to have found a VERY interesting article to read in the Metro (what tripe), and daggy-boy with the jeans below his ar*e claims ownership not just of the 'priority' seat, but also of the whole area around him.

Please be more forceful. You have earned the right to sit down. You have a voice - USE IT.
It is hard enough dealing with rush hour without having to fight battles on your behalf in a gesture of sisterly solidarity.

Your compassionate knight(ess) in shining armour,



Dear Mr Man and Widget

When mummy says "No more water games please," she really means it.

Stop. Now. Or. Else.


Your intolerant mother


Dear Blossom

Cleaning up after your brothers will earn you a gold star.

Whinging about it will not.

Ticking them off for making a mess in the first place will only have your father comment how much you sound like me.

Your elder twin



Dear Other Half

Can you please stop eating the special treats that are for the children's packed lunches? They are disappearing in half the time they should and yes I know you are also hot and bothered when you get back from work and want 'something' with a nice cup of tea. I know you like chocolate but M&M's are not quite up there with Green & Blacks.

Unless you are a child. And last time I looked I had three, not four. Children, that is.


Chief Grocery Shopper


Dear Station Master

Next time you tick me off for using the exit gate at my tube stop that is supposedly only for prams/wheelchairs/mobility impaired individuals/people with bad knees, are you planning to arrest me?

Treating me like a disobedient child will only encourage me to do it more often. It is a lesson we understand well in my household.


Little Miss Naughty


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Experimenting with titles 2

Somewhere in the depths of my memory I knew there had been another episode of this childish endeavour. Sure enough, I recalled it (on the tube, where else?) and thought it would provide some further light reading for those who wish to 'improve' their status in life - if only it were so easy.

Anyway, a couple of years ago I went on a business trip with a colleague and my boss. To cut a long story short, I ended up having to book the flights, and... yes, you guessed it, I decided it would be amusing to give all of us some titles.

I was very demure and resorted to being a mere Professor on this occasion. Probably explains why I have now graduated to Countess.

The other two guys did not even realise what I had done until one was offered an upgrade. He thought he had struck it lucky but could not understand why the hostess kept calling him Lord So-and-So.

As for my boss, well he just thought I was going through a spiritual phase of some sort (he has had to put up with quite a lot over the years) as I kept on saying "Amen" at the end of any of our conversations. It wasn't until he was greeted as a Reverend by the passport control guy that the penny dropped.

In true bloke style they have conveniently forgotten this whole episode.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Experimenting with titles

Our healthcare cover has changed providers with the new owners.
Whilst this is nothing new in itself (aside from the person I seem to have to deal with on the other end of the phone when making queries being persistently unhelpful, so much for 'previous medical history disregarded' being flagged as such a big selling point to us poor employees who actually have no say in the matter), it did mean that I had to follow the instructions on the internal email (see? I am trying to comply... even though it pains me) and log-on to my account to verify details....

My postcode was incorrect, so I amended this.

And then I thought, why stop there?

So from now on you may refer to me as 'Countess'.

I even got a letter in the post yesterday addressed accordingly, validating the changes made.

Yes, very childish, but oh so amusing :-)

Yadda yadda yadda...