Sunday, 22 August 2010

How long does it take to make a coffee? Room service Spanish style.

Fabulous setting. Barely eleven in the morning and ensconced around the pool with the sun filtering through the tree tops, Gibraltar in the distance, kids already splashing in the water, light breeze blowing. Very pleasant.

One thing missing. A nice cup of coffee.

Cue walkie-talkie. A request to the missing person from our midst to brew up a pot and bring it poolside.

“Roger that. Over and out.”

Some ten minutes later, the sun a tad higher, the breeze a little lighter, the heat starting to build. No coffee in sight.

Cue walkie-talkie again. Is the designated coffee-maker en route? Or possibly still sleeping? Or even – heaven forbid – otherwise engaged?

“On its way. Over and out.”

Another ten minutes pass. Still nothing. We consider the options:

  • sit and wait some more
  • send one of the children to raise the alarm
  • send several of the children to raise the alarm
  • dispatch the dog to investigate
  • wait for the owner to make her daily rounds and thus spur him into action

“Mr Management Consultant (MC), are you dressed?”

No reply.

“MC, the owner is coming by to drop off some items. Are you dressed?”

No reply.

“MC. Do you have anything on at all? You are about to receive a visitor.”

The walkie-talkie crackles into action.

“I have now. Thanks for the warning. She might have got a bit of a surprise.”

And lo and behold, two minutes later steaming fresh coffee is placed on the table before us. MC might have adapted immediately to the more laid-back Spanish lifestyle, but it has to be said that our demands for prompt service are still decidedly in line with London expectations.

Am sure that will change by the end of our stay. Alternatively we might just have to find some greater ‘incentives’ for MC to speed up his service.

‘Beer’ and ‘Spanish totty’ initially spring to mind, although I somehow think his wife might not quite approve.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Gallery post - week 23

Her Maj has deemed this week's theme to be a memory.
Since mine appears to be like a sieve at present I will rely on something I can still recall.
Recent holiday. Family and friends. The kids loved it.
And I think this sums it up - from their perspective anyway.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sometimes you get sent some peculiar things. Or awards. From Down Under.

This came today by express blog mail. The missive came with the following tag line:
"And in the interests of Karma and paying it forward and all that bollocks, I am kicking this award over to London City Mum, who I am not sure likes to cook, but I sure knows she enjoys a tipple."

I must confess that when I first saw the award in question I thought three things:
  1. But I can actually cook - just no cakes please
  2. And I don't drink vodka - or not to my knowledge anyway... there was that one time many years ago involving a New Year Eve's party, a few cocktails too many and a lasting impression on OH's younger brothers... but I digress
  3. And why is that cow about to headbutt the bottle? Is she confused and thinks it is an upside-down milking machine on strike? With red nipples?
I think that is more than just three questions. Don't ask me complicated questions on a Sunday.

Anyway. Mrs Woog.

First things first: thank you (manners are very important in the LCM household, and remember to put the loo seat down please).

Second: I seem to gather from the blurb accompanying the award that I am supposed to now divulge ten things about me that might just titillate your senses.

Hah! As if. Never divulge inner secrets. They just return under a different guise to bite you on the bum.

So here are my ten alternative not-so-secret secrets that will cause no harm whatsoever if they come up in any future job interview. I hope.
  1. I have cold hands. And feet. They turn blue. It's called Raynaud (the syndrome, not my feet) and OH makes me wear socks in bed in winter. Very sexy, I promise.
  2. I have a full motorcycle license and have been riding bikes since I was about 14. And yes, I have sufficient additional helmets to carry passengers. Safely.
  3. Continuing from point 2 above. Best passenger: BB (my training partner). Worst passenger: OH. Don't ask. Let's just say that if being in the same rowing boat was bad enough to be denounced by others in the crew at the time, this topped it. I would have left him behind but it was 2am and in the middle of nowhere convenient. And he was all decked out in leather. I am a *nice* person after all.
  4. My maternal great-grandparents came from Lithuania, Latvia, Scotland and New Zealand. And no I do not speak Russian. But I can do Kiwi at a push.
  5. I have three piercings in my left ear. Since I am a serious businesswoman, I only use one of them. Sometimes the wrong one so it looks like I have a lop-sided head. Oh. I do? Right, as you were then.
  6. My mother and I share the same birthday.
  7. My favourite food is rigatoni al sugo.
  8. And carciofi (artichokes) alla romana.
  9. And good quality ice cream like the one they serve here.
  10. My ideal job would to be Daniel Craig's swimmers. Okay, you knew this already. But nothing better has appeared on the horizon, so it still stands.

So, third. Who to lop this award over to? I know. *cackles*
The original Vegemite Vixens. Who else? Vicky, Peabee, Muddling Along and Rachel.

Now go and amuse yourselves. I have some small people calling me 'Mummy' that I have to attend to.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

That was the week that was. Or was it? Was it?

So, that's the summer done then. Duvet is already back on the bed, the rain is pissing down and I am walking past shops and finding their newly-displayed winter collections 'interesting'.
Plus the realisation that the next triathlon I have signed up for - along with Brazilian Babe and the lovely Wine Writer, training partners in times of need desperation - might take place in not only cold but also wet conditions is somewhat dampening my enthusiasm.

Hmmm, not good.

So this week I took up the offer to attend a private screening of a new film (Restrepo, not for the faint-hearted but highly recommended if you have any view on the war in Afghanistan) with my new soon-to-be partner in snap-happy crime.

Whilst the film takes some digesting and is certainly food for many thoughts, zipping up to Soho on the vespa with BB as my passenger had us performing a running commentary about the people we passed en route. And no, she is not hermetically attached to my persona in case you were wondering, she just conveniently had a meeting to get to in loco at the same time. Scooter transport was by far the best option. I could have then happily sat in Old Compton Street post screening with the ladies and just people-watched for hours.

What's that? Did I have my camera with me? Did I heck. Of course. But we were busy talking, you see. And planning. And scheming. And comparing diaries.

Plus I was still slightly dazed after a very late night with the Vegemite Vixens, that very exclusive club, which saw me return home at 1.30am and catch a mere 4 hours sleep. Considering only two of them were drinking (you know who you are), it was a very loud, very raucous and very funny evening. Hats off to you ladies for making the blogsphere more tangible and realistic. So what if our other halves do not 'get it'. Pah.

Oh yes. And I fended off a few calls from headhunters. Despite it being quiet this time of year, there is still activity going on and the urgent request for a synopsis about my ability to perform certain tasks (not related to either taking photos or making sarcastic remarks, funnily enough) was dealt with promptly. Although in my sleep-deprived state I did have to re-read the blurb a few times to ensure I had not written 'bollocks', 'f*ck' or 'innit'.

I hadn't.

Although I think I signed off the email with 'Laters'. So will just have to wait and see if that headhunter comes back to me.

Or if she has a sense of humour.

p.s. And since it seemed like a good idea at the time, I also - finally - moved the blog to a proper custom domain of its own. No more extensive typing to locate the site. And it should all re-direct automatically. Yippee!

Or so I was led to believe. I am a sucker for punishment here, despite reading the instructions umpteen times.

Except of course - of course - the comments have gone doolally again. Some are there, some are not, some are still under the old address, some have decided they have had enough and pissed off to see other funnier bloggers. I had been warned as well by another lovely VV (Vegemite Vixen, keep up will you?). Tsk.

Sorry? Do I work in technology? Err, yes, now that I think about it. But my standard answer to the kids wanting to put a DVD on is the classic "Ask your father." He does the gadgets. I do the finance.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

What the eye sees... take four (already?)

Right-o troops, have you been paying attention? Yes? Well then. You will know that I am currently a lady of leisure - again - whilst I bide my time before starting the next project. Quiet at the back or I will have this room cleared.

However. Regardless of this and thanks to the HUGE volume of support and comments (and imitators, most sincerest form of flattery, thank you, thank you) I am submitting the latest batch of photos from my recent commuting life.

I seem to have a shoe fetish. Sorry, scrap that. I DO have a shoe fetish, especially when bad shoes are concerned. Don't believe me? Regardez l'évidence.

Felon #1.

Mr Businessman, one word: shame!

Felon #2.

Oh dear. This gives a whole new meaning to being 'down at heel'

Felon(ess) #3.

Choice? Really? And that outfit? What were you thinking?

And this was the crowd gathered to view the worst offender.

Roll up, roll up. LCM is at it again.

Felon(ess) #4. 

I mean, WTF?

Oh, and then there was the woman who left the house in her negligee.

Dah-ling, I am so alluring in the morning I will go to work in my PJs

 And the one who got dressed in the dark.

Madam, why are you wearing sanitary towels on your shoulders?

Sadly, no Tandem Twins this time round (but I do know where and when to find them, so fret not).

But I have taken this gem for you.

Salvador Dali is alive and well and on the London tube

So good in fact, I am treating you to a close-up.
Because I'm worth it.

Fabulous, no? And before you wonder "How?", he was sleeping. Eyes soundly closed behind the groovy glasses.

More to follow soon. I will have a partner in crime too. Send bail money to usual account please.

Disclaimer: these posts are not meant to offend, they are totally tongue-in-cheek. If you have been captured on film, congratulations, you caught my attention. If this offends you I am truly sorry. A simple email with proof of identity will see you removed tout suite. Just like that.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Playtime from past times - The Gallery, week 22

I tell you what: that Tara woman knows how to keep a ball rolling, doesn't she? Not only has she drawn together talents from far and wide, she has given many of us an additional reason to visit other blog sites that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.

I called her 'Her Highness' last week. I think 'Her Maj' is probably more appropriate now. There is something definitely regal in her manner with the troops.

So, this week's theme is Playtime. I could think of only one photo suitable for this post.

LCM pre-children, footloose and fancy-free with Madame Banane
This was adult playtime, albeit in a white-out and with no notion of which way was up, which way down, nor how to descend the mountain without ending up on the goat track or down a crevice.

Just like being children, without a care in the world.

Monday, 2 August 2010

What the (tourist) eye sees... the holiday version

As a break from the norm, I give you the first – and certainly not last – holiday version of people-watching.
This is the Rome special, a classic take on how not to dress when in one of the most beautiful cities of the world, regardless of how much heat, crowds, shopping expeditions, monument-gazing or gelato eating might be involved.

Can I also add that taking photos was much, much easier than during my usual tube travails as everyone was snapping away in all directions, so one more person pointing a camera made little or no difference? Ah, freedom! I have found my calling.

Here we go.
First up, I give you the archetypal 21st century socks-and-sandals offender par excellence. On the Spanish steps no less.

Zis vay I keep mein foots very varm, yes?

Next, the novelty male bra.

This 'lift and separate' is not really as liberating as the salesgirl said it would be

Then, the confused-in-fashion lady.

Oh, I will wear a dress, no, a pair of shorts, no, leggings, oh how about all three?
And a hat to add that extra 'non so che' (je ne sais quoi) 

Or this, the male version.

Yes I am very gay and my f*cking travel agent booked me a tour with all the septuagenarians.
I said I wanted to travel and see the ruins, not be with them

Of course it was not long before we spotted the inevitable Hawaiian shirt, right by the Trevi fountain.

Fountain, schmountain, we do 'em bigger in Texas

Or how about this beauty? Check out the wedgie shoes.

Whoops, sorry, that was a local.

I meant this.

Does this cap look good on me?
The grandkids assured me it was a terrific ensemble. They are such a laugh. 

Talking about caps, this one is also top notch. I like the matching glasses and t-shirt combination as well.

Don't mock, my flat cap is Armani darling

Of course, the Carabinieri do what they do best: hang around looking suave and elegant and chatting with their mates.

I tella you is no worri, everyone isa on holidai, capisc? 

And the businessmen and politicians also sit at the outdoor cafés and discuss the meaning of life. With one eye on their companion and one ear glued permanently to their mobile phone.

Berlusconi said what? He has a better tan than Obama? Ancora (again)?


Hello? CIA? Oh? You already know about Silvio's comments? Okay, is no problem. Ciao.

And then, just around the corner, there was this.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No...

It's a lady with black lip-liner. I thought this went out of fashion along with the 1980s metallica scene. Maybe the woman is a closet goth.

I'm telling you, this is so cool back home, you have no idea,
the Eye-talians are really behind the times honey

But the piece de résistance was this.

Heidi eat your heart out

That is, until I saw this.

My love is the mirror (hair) image of me

But all was redeemed by the very graceful (little old) Lady In Red, whom I shamelessly stalked for some three blocks.


I doubt she was a visitor to the Eternal City. Too self-assured and confident as she went about her business with her matching accessories and Louis Vuitton bag.
My mother clearly thinks I am bonkers - although she did actually join in and start pointing people out to me, so there must be something in the genes.

And I will not tell you what I was wearing except to say that I mingled well.

With the tourists, that is.

Disclaimer: these posts are not meant to offend, they are totally tongue-in-cheek. If you have been captured on film, congratulations, you caught my attention. If this offends you I am truly sorry. A simple email with proof of identity will see you removed tout suite. Just like that.

Yadda yadda yadda...