Monday, 30 November 2009

The X in X-Factor

Day 8 of my daily post effort

This year I have not followed X-Factor. In fact I have only ever followed it once, last year. Between that and Strictly Come Dancing my Saturday nights last year were - I kid you not- verging on the obsessive. Laundry duties have since taken over, as regular readers will know.

That aside, I did watch the show a couple of weeks ago and was struck by how the pop factory that is Mr Cowell and co have singularly failed to provide us lesser humans (ie those who would fail at the audition trials, let alone attempt to enter in the first place) with translators for those contestants who talk so fast and so garbled they make comedians like Michael McIntyre seem positively s l o w in their delivery.

Not sure what I mean? Have a look at this then for an interview.

And please spare me the "she's young and fun and full of life" comments.
I need a translator!

The X in X-Factor? I give you the Devil's Dictionary's definition:


1. a useless letter of Greek origin duplicated and easily replaced by other letters.
2. a thing lacking in identity, or quantity.
3. David Duchovny.

I rest my case. Know what I mean, innit?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Hi ho, hi ho, it's (back) off to work I go

Day 7 of the daily post effort (are you sick of reading this yet? I have already lost track and have to keep reverting to earlier posts to see what number I am up to)

Right, here we go again. Once more into the foray that is the magimix of commuter hell (because you finish your journey as the sum of multiple parts, not all of them yours to start with) and the madness of the career ladder.
Not so sure about the career ladder bit really, time will tell, but this new venture should see the bank balance replenished somewhat so that at the very least I can do away with the 'cheap' option at the supermarket rather than the normal selection of pre-redundancy days.

Having said that, it will also mean reverting back to ordering on line, now that I think of it, as the days of shopping mid-week will be a thing of the past. Wonder if I can remember my password? Am sure it has expired.

So, a list to tick off as I prepare to go forth:

  • packed lunches for Mr Man and Blossom - check
  • PE bags for same - check
  • bookbags - check
  • clean school uniforms - check
  • matching pairs of shoes - check
  • bike helmets - check
  • high viz jackets - check
  • keys for bike locks - check
  • lights for bike journey home - check
  • own handbag - check (although not sure of contents yet, mental note to take out go-gos, colouring pencils and plastic car)
  • workbag for shoes, book, other 'stuff' - check (note that shoes are still absent, tbd depending on outfit choice, see next point)
  • clean outfit for first day in office - check (actually that's a lie as have no idea what I am going to wear until I open cupboard and stare vacantly at contents for five minutes in the morning)
  • phone, preferably charged - check
  • reading glasses - check
  • sufficient food in cupboard/fridge to avoid visit to shops en route home so we can have some semblance of dinner - check
  • milk for breakfast, ditto - check
  • dishwasher ready to go - check
  • washing in machine/dryer - check (definitely have a laundry obsession, no two ways about it)
  • KEYS TO HOUSE - check
There, all done.

Except I forgot one thing:
  • next blog post(s) ready to go - check
Am thinking of this as being a bit like preparation for lengthy absence from home, eg. when you cook and freeze meals so you don't worry about your family going hungry whilst you are away.

Except this is more a case of writing up various future blog posts to different degrees of completion and then 'hoping' a minimum of editing will suffice before I hit the 'publish' key.

Will be known henceforth as LCM BOTG (blogger on the go).

Friday, 27 November 2009

The things you do to pass time (and the silly thoughts that pass through my head)

Day 5 of my own daily post effort

This week saw me up on the Kings Road, shooting the breeze with Widget as we enjoy our last few days together before he returns to nursery full time and I join the commuter throng again.

After the usual tour around PJ's (total spend, £11.95, very tame I thought) and some other shops that I managed to drag him in to and out of without damage trailing in our wake, we sat down in Duke of York Square and Widget munched his way through his packed lunch while I did some people spotting.

Or rather, some Yummy Mummy spotting.

In the space of time it took my youngest to finish off a ham and cheese sandwich, a sausage roll, a fruity flapjack, pack of raisins and an entire apple, this is a sample of what passed by:

(N.B. In the interest of anonymity I have applied where necessary very fashionable bug-eye sunglasses, so no nasty emails about privacy and copyright and what-not please, ok?)

Yummy Mummy no.1:

Yummy Mummy no.2:

And no.3:

Nos. 4 & 5:

No. 6:

Oh, no, sorry, that was the Filipino nanny.

And there were many, many more when we jumped on the bus (adventure, yippee!) to head homewards:

Obsessed? Possibly. But not what you may think. It's the jeans/trousers and boots thing! I wanted to jump up and ask them "How do you do it?"
How do you manage to wear long boots over your trousers and still zip them up? Are yours pseudo-trousers that in true fact are cut off below the knee? Are they a shrink-wrapped version that moulds to your leg before you put your footwear on? Are they in actual fact - horror, shock - leggings? Or are your boots expandable in some manner, in a weird leather/lycra mix that I have never come across yet?
How come I can only wear my boots either under my trousers (if they will then go over them, in which case why bother) or with a dress or skirt, and even then struggle madly to do the zip up (lying on my back with legs in the air) and painfully take the first few steps to 'accommodate' the fat re-distribution of my calves?

So never mind the fact that these women all looked gorgeous, scrubbed and polished to the nines and probably have never had to tackle a pile of laundry in their life, I want to know how this boot business works.

Ideas, anyone?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

The wisdom of Widget

Day 4 of my own daily post effort.

Widget bursts into our bedroom this morning as I am stumbling out of bed. The following conversation ensues:

Widget - Mummy, when can we get a very fast sports car?

LCM (brain not entirely engaged yet for witty repartee with a 4yo) - Errrmmm... when mummy has lots and lots of money?

W (not missing a beat) - You can have my money!

LCM (still waking up) - Oh sweetie, that's very kind of you, thank you.

W - Yes, but you have to give it back.

I suddenly had a vision of him as a bank manager in years to come.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

The curse of nativity plays

Day 3 of my own daily post effort.

Most amused by LWM's recent post on this Xmas-related topic. I never quite made it to acorn status in my primary school nativity plays, but I was a wave once in the production of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. I even have a photo to prove it:

That's me on the far right of the picture. Apologies for the quality, but we are talking 1970s here. Am sure you can see the similarities with my LCM caricature, yes? No? Never mind. Suffice to say we wore some sort of synthetic kaftan in cerulean blue to which were stapled strips of green/dark blue/turquoise crepe paper. Put me off acrylic for life. And outside of the mothers who created the costumes, no one had the foggiest idea who we were or what we were doing. Some sort of female circular ritual involving shiny material.

However, as part of my drive to be particularly and conscientiously maternal before heading back into the rat race, I am very proud to state here that I have made the costumes for Mr Man and Blossom's roles in the forthcoming nativity play this year.

I give you (drum roll please):

A king's crown. Good, yes? Was most impressed with myself.

And then I made this:

Yes, I know it looks like a t-shirt with cotton wool stuck to it (ingeniously with sticky-back velcro), but that's what the instructions from the school said! I have not shown it to Blossom yet as she will probably refuse to wear it. Can hardly blame her (at least it will not itch like my 1970s wave costume).

Oh, sorry, what is it? A cloud, stupid!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Back on the road again

Day 2 of my own daily post effort.

Hmmmm... where to start? Considering it is now, what, after half past one in the afternoon and I am still sitting at my desk in my filthy training kit, I seem to be making little progress.

Well, let's be a tad more accurate here: I have only been sitting at my desk since 11.30 or so, my kit is not really that filthy (although I am keeping my arms well pinned to my sides, you know why), and in truth I have actually been busy with work-related stuff over the past two hours.

Yes, work. Again. In about a week. OMG, what will I do? How am I going to manage after some - let me count - three and a half months of being out of the office? More importantly, who the bloody hell is going to keep on top of the laundry pile? (LWM, this is where we start to seriously negotiate about finding a housekeeper to look after this tedious task for both of us, I kid you not... bugger, I need to change the sheets on our beds... wonder if I can bribe the cleaning lady to do it...)

So, work it will be again. Terms and conditions have been agreed, contracts are  being signed, and if all is done and dusted by the end of the week, Monday morning will see LCM back in the throng of commuters heading up to new premises to recommence her life as, funnily enough, a working mother again.
Am strangely excited, but at the same time somewhat reluctant to get back on the treadmill... although what with the bank balance starting to creak severely I really have no option.

Plus there is a delightful twist in the working tale, which I will reserve for another post.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A book club called Kevin

Once upon a time there was a group of women girls who loved to read. They decided to form a book club so they could share opinions, views and general chit chat about their enthusiasm for literature.

At their first meeting, one of the dippy blondes (there were a few) said that the book club should have a name. The other members concurred. There followed an intense debate (all of five minutes, Ed.) about what they should call themselves.

Until one of the other blondes piped up and said, "Kevin."

And that, as they say, was that.

Monday, 9 November 2009

And the winner is...

Firstly thanks for those of you who took up the competition challenge and posted an entry. Verbal versions were entertaining but as per the rules were not admissible!

Secondly, as the saying goes, "You gotta be in it to win it!"

So, without further ado, I am delighted to announce that my fellow judge Paul Boakye (of The Colorful Times) and I have decided that the prize goes to Iota for her very funny entry, reproduced in its entirety below:

I've written a rap. It goes like this.

Whether your name is Albert Finney
Or whether your name is Pooh the Winnie,
Whether you're Mickey or whether you're Minnie,
Whether you're a mouse, or a rat, or a guinea
Pig, you might be sad or you might be grinny,
You might have a hairdo like old Yul Brynny
You might be a fatty or you might be a thinny,
You might like your lattes very very skinny,
So skinny the baristas all think you're a ninny,
Say "Hey Barista, you're a ninny in your pinny"
But I swear by the hair on my chinny chinny chinny,
All will be well if you get yourself a hinny.

Iota - can you please contact me via the email address in the side panel to claim your well-deserved winning tribute? Thank you for making me laugh!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Another moment of madness

Not quite sure what has come over me, but in a fit of madness I have just signed up for the Henley Sprint Triathlon next June 13th to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

Possibly a combination my back finally being sorted (again) thanks to my lovely osteopath who once more came to the rescue, or maybe as penance for having to defer my Great South Run due to the aforementioned injury (on top of bronchitis, flu, cold, etc etc v v v boring). Either way, the deed is done.

I am now attempting to rope in my sister-in-law (who had to do the GSR without me), my running partner (the lovely Brazilian Babe, BB for short), my former rowing crew member and partner-in-pregnancy Miss K (our firstborn arrived within 37 mins of each other) who did this triathlon last year, and anyone else who is game. Team name is Sons and Daughters.

Of course I am now under the illusion that by the time race day comes along I will look like this:

Or even this:

Or, hey, even this:

Of course, I am dreaming and the result will probably be more like this:

But there are still 31 weeks until the big day (best heads up I have ever had), so I live in hope. Just wake me in time for the starter's gun, okay?

p.s. top 3 photos courtesy of Emma Snowsill's website - awesome stuff.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

A case of smugness

After much faffing - in which Other Half claims I am Olympic Champion, I say it takes one to know one - I have produced the revised caricature which now adorns the front page of the blog.

And I am so pleased with my efforts I am reproducing it here for greater effect as the smaller details do not show up in the everyday version.

Can I just add, in case you were wondering, that the adorning clothes are not truly 'me'. In fact I have managed to make myself look like a Laura Ashley advert.

In real life of course I am the epitome of a sleek and highly fashionable business woman.

Quiet in the back there!

Oh, and by the by - Iota has laid down the gauntlet in the competition now, so there is a true challenge afoot to submit a superior entry before Sunday's deadline.

Competition time - small extention

It was pointed out to me that as I (perhaps foolishly, would not be a first either) 'launched' the competition right at the start of half term, perhaps it would be worthwhile extending it slightly to encourage entries from those whom have to date failed could not be ar*sed been unable to join in the fun.

So I am sticking my neck out here and therefore bending the rules (I made them anyway) and extending the deadline to Sunday 8th November.

Click on the link above to see what it entails, and if you were one of the people who submitted suggestions vocally, thanks, but I do need them in writing for proper judgement to prevail!

Over to you. Let's see if anyone beyond Yummy Mummy, Fraught Mummy and Mothership can be fecking bothered to have a go.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Time for a change

Having time on my hands - so to speak, not strictly true as job searching should take priority at present - I have been fiddling with the layout of the blog.
No idea why, just one of those things you do and then before you know it three hours have passed, you are late collecting the kids and there is still nothing to eat in the house. Other Half thinks I am obsessed. He is right.

So the question is: what do you think? Good? Better? Indifferent? Am still miffed why some of the font in previous posts appears in blue instead of black, and vice versa. Can only deduce that it must be from the cut and paste jobbie with my ES stuff. I even dallied with Wordpress as a potential 'new home' but that drove me to distraction and I was not interested in having a sense of humour meltdown courtesy of unfamiliar technology. Speaks volumes for my understanding of the industry I have been working in for the past 10 years. That said, I have also always prefaced any meeting with the words "Assume ignorance on my behalf", just in case they start talking about Java or C++ or - heaven forbid - technical architecture.

Anyway, this is a true ramble of no significance. Was just interested to see if anyone (outside of Mwa) noticed the changes (or cared). How about the caricature at the top? Needs fine-tuning, but was quite pleased with that.

As the saying goes, "Change is the only element in life which is constant".

Yadda yadda yadda...