Friday, 31 August 2007
Now I don’t want this post to make Meester and I sound like Daphne and Fred from Scooby Doo, but there’s something afoot with an old guy who hangs around the field at the outskirts of the Village of the Flying Martinis. And we want to get to the bottom of it. (But if you want to go with the Scooby Doo thing, we do have a dog now. But he doesn’t talk or have a scruffy gluttonous man-child hanging out with him. I'll leave it up to you.)
Let me explain. There’s a large field. It seems to produce nothing. It is a considerable size. Day after day there is an old bloke who arrives in his Volvo Estate and hangs out there. The field is tended by him by hand with old-fashioned rakes and garden implements. The field is the tidiest field I’ve ever seen in my life. The soil is fine, stone free and immaculate. It wouldn’t surprise me if, one day, I saw him vacuuming it with his Dyson or polishing it with Pledge.
Every time we pass the field we watch him. We look to see if he is planting anything. He never is. We discuss how he can possibly tend such a large field with the aid of low-fi garden tools. In short, we wonder what the blazes he is up to.
Of course we could just speak to him, but what would we say?
“Excuse me mate, what the blazes are you up to in that field?”
It would be impolite.
We instead have some theories that might one day bear fruit (unlike the field, which never has any crops in it, ever):
Theory 1: He is a world renowned scientist. He is testing stuff for the government. (This is Meeester’s theory, I think it’s bollocks)
Theory 2: He is a hen-pecked husband and bought the field as a means of staying away from his overbearing wife.
Theory 3: He saw that film with Richard Harris called “The Field” where the old man tends the field until he is run over the edge of a cliff by sheep and dies. He thought it looked a good laugh.
Theory 4: He is a spy. (This is Meeester’s theory, I think it’s bollocks)
Theory 5: He thinks that if he makes his field look amazingly immaculate, some property developer will offer him a heap of cash for it. He is setting out his stall, so to speak.
Theory 6: He has already been offered a heap of cash by a developer but doesn’t want to let go of his one remaining field. He tends it lovingly to upset the developers.
Theory 7: He was a farmer with loads of fields. When he retired he kept just the one on as a hobby. He doesn’t grow anything, as he can’t be arsed with the hurly burly of buying and selling. He just likes to keep his hand in. It’s either that or get a wee part time job in B&Q.
Theory 8: He is an ecologist. He wants to tend the soil by hand and use no chemicals to write a thesis that will save the planet.
Theory 9: He is the gatekeeper to the underworld and the field secretes the opening. (This is Meeester’s theory, I think it’s bollocks)
Theory 10: He was involved in a huge bank robbery years ago on the continent. The haul is hidden in the field. He tends it until the day he gets a call from his partners in crime, to dig up the booty and head out to meet them in Acapulco.
Theory 11: It is not his field. He is just a local nutter.
We need to know! For 9 years now this has been driving us utterly crazy.
We plan to spy on him some more and get to the bottom of it.
We dream of solving the mystery and him saying, “I would have got away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids!”
Wednesday, 29 August 2007
I have a phobia; I have always hated and feared Ketchup.
No one takes me seriously. But to me, it IS serious. Its presence sends me hysterical.
Hysterical reaction to something = Phobia.
Phobias = Psychological state of fear to be taken seriously (even if they seem ridiculous).
Today, there was a feature on the radio about hypnosis curing people of their phobias. I listened intently as they talked about the usual phobias; dogs, open spaces, spiders and the like. The cure success rate was impressive.
I thought to myself, "I could do that".
But then I thought, "But it would involve going near ketchup at one point."
And then I thought, " I won't bother then. I'll live with my crippling fear. I'll soldier on. Bravely and with dignity."
My first encounter with the vile red stuff was at my Gran’s house when my Uncle offered my brother and I some ketchup for our chips. It looked interesting, we let him put some on our plates. My brother liked it; I most certainly did not. In fact I think I refused to eat anything else after it tainted my plate, I was so revolted.
After this point, the problem was that the genie had literally been let out of the bottle. My fear begins, my brother’s love of it begins. I am now trapped in a world of horror until one of us leaves home.
It is the smell of it that upsets me most. Once I smell it, I cannot eat. It’s that bad. I can look at it but only if it’s on telly and even then, I’m borderline throw-uppy. And the glass bottles always had crusty coagulated residue round the opening and top. I am actually finding it hard to type now. Jesus, I feel ill.
Fast forward a few years and my Mum and Dad become friendly with a Danish Family. Now, as has been documented in my blogs in the last year or so, the Scandinavians are the Kings of the Condiment, the Pioneers of the Preserve, the High Priests of Slurry. This family are typical fans of vinegar based bottled slush, not least, the middle daughter of the Danish family, Mette.
She was a horrible little beast anyway, but by far her worst trait was the fact that the only thing this brat would eat was hot dog sausages and ketchup. And she only ate the sausages as a compromise to her poor mother. Personally, I would let the little cretin starve, but I suppose her mother loved her and wanted her to live. Oh well, there’s no accounting for taste.
So, for many years we would spend a lot of leisure time with the Danes; a lot of holidays, a lot of barbecues and a lot of weekends. The most irritating part of our association with them was that we would inevitably spend a lot of meal times with the Danes, or worse, at the Danes’ house where banquets of pickled herring, indescribable bowls of mixtures that looked like vomit and bizarre offal based puddings were the order of the day.
In amongst this culinary Hades, I would be sat at the same table with a girl who would cover every inch of her plate in ketchup or on several occasions drink straight from the ketchup bottle. It was hard to watch and even harder to smell.
She knew I hated the stuff and this made her worse. She would ladle whole spoonfuls of ketchup into her mouth just to upset me. I began to loathe this little sauce filled Viking and I can still see her little sauce smeared chops before me thirty years later. I would want to smash her face in, but the thought of getting ketchup touching my actual person would send me over the edge.
Fast forward ten years and I get out of the family home to University and I am able to avoid ketchup for the most part. I am in charge of my own cooking and my own company so I live a sauce free life, on the whole. I’m not saying I avoid ketchup fiends deliberately, I'm not saucist, but let’s just say if I went out with a bloke and he covered his food in ketchup, it would be a short evening with no goodnight kiss.
On meeting Meeester, I make the no ketchup rule quite clear straight off. There is no ketchup allowed in our house. In fact it’s a no pasaran situation as far as all bottled condiments go. The rule extends to Salad Cream, Picalilli and Branston Pickle. He obeys without question and I realise at that moment that I must marry this man.
Not all people understand. Some even mock my affliction. I distance myself from these people. I do, however, have one ketchup-loving/addicted friend whom I love too much to ban from my house at meal times. If she wants ketchup with her meal at our house, she must bring her own sauce with her, and the bottle must return home with her when she leaves. This will be double checked at the end of the evening. She is fine with this and I live a blissful five years with virtually no ketchup soiling my mealtimes.
But now, everything has changed……my kids love ketchup. The red bastard has snuck in through the back door. I now have a bottle of Heinz Organic Ketchup in my cupboard. It empties and it is replaced. It winks at me as it is placed on the dinner table. Oh, I didn’t buy it. Meeester did. In fact, it was Meeester who introduced the kids to it. And now, they won’t eat without it and Meeester joins in for good measure.
I am scowled at and mocked if I complain. I am made to feel like a petty tyrant if I take my dinner elsewhere. The dinner table has become a place of horror once more.
And I suspect Meeester planned this all along…..
Another post about Slurry here, in case you missed it.
Monday, 27 August 2007
My husband, Meeester is in a band. In fact he’s been in two bands since I met him.
I hooked up with him 16 years ago despite the fact that he is a musician. I never ever wanted anyone ever to label me as a groupie.
When Meeester was in his first band in his twenties, they toured all over the place. They went from Boston to Belarus, from Norway to Paris to Vienna. A wonderful time was had by all. I never went with them, for, unlike Anita Pallenberg, I am NOT with the band.
I went on one trip and vowed never to go again.
So, for all of you wannabe groupies, take heed, for this is the grim reality what being a groupie consists of.
You will drive hundreds of miles in a van that only goes up to 50mph if the wind is in the right direction. You will empty your entire bank account into the pockets of motorway service station owners along the way. You would have brought sandwiches but how rock and Roll is a lunch box? Answer: Not very.
The van may also break down at various intervals. You will be expected not to whine on these occasions.
You arrive at the venue and will wait outside whilst band find the bloke they need to speak to before setting up. This guy is always called Dave (or Donny, if you’re in the Western Isles). He is always not there yet.
Alone for the first time, you will have to chat to the drummer’s girlfriend, who is different from the last girl you saw him with and different from the girl you will see him with next.
You think, “I’d better chat to her, but I don’t want to invest too much as she’ll be history come this time next month. She’s nice, but I will try not to get too attached”
You will grudgingly help with the load in. Never do heavy lifting, just take a token amount of cables in, that’s your lot.
Never ever carry a bloke’s guitar for him. Nothing says, “I’m with the band” like a lassie carrying her man’s axe. Meeester made me do this on Saturday at a festival because he had too much else to carry and I was not happy at breaking this fundamental rule of mine. This is the first time in 15 years that I have done it. Rest assured, I did whine about it.
And I’ve seen it happen so many times before. See girlfriend carry man’s guitar, man has no respect for girlfriend. She’s on her way out. Only people who play guitars should carry guitars. I carry my handbag and myself only. I feel jinxed now.
Shut UP! How annoying! Do anything else than hang around for the sound-check. Go for a walk, go for a pint, go run at a wobbly spear. Just distance your ear drums from “Bang! Bang! Bang!” “ Tchoo Thcoo Tcchoo! One-Tcchooo!”
Sound-checks will also take forever. Don’t plan on seeing your man any time soon. More chat with the soon to be ex-girlfriend of the drummer will be the order of the day.
You will be forced to eat a crappy take-away. Few bands have their own chef, you know, and catering tents are only at festivals.
For the common and garden touring band and their entourage, it’s chips or a kebab or nothing. And if it’s in the Highlands of Scotland you better hope you arrive in town before seven o’clock or everything will be closed and you will all be fighting over a Pot Noodle that someone bought earlier from the last open petrol station, 150 miles away.
If you're lucky, you will get to watch your man’s band play for 40 mins on stage . However, even this is fraught with anxiety as you spot other women drooling over your boyfriend at the front of the stage. These girls are legion and want desparately to live the groupie dream. These girls have not read blogs like this; they have read the many salacious memoirs of Pamela Des Barres or Pearl Lowe and want a piece of the groupie action.
The Earning Your Keep.
This is not a euphemism for groupie like sexual attention. You will be expected to help out and sadly this doesn’t mean being asked up on stage to duet with your loved one, Sonny and Cher style.
You may be asked to sell band merchandise (or hand out flyers, see this for more). This will involve stopping folk from nicking stuff, haggling with you or fending off drunken advances from cretins.
Worst of all, you may be sat outside in the cold corridor, unable to even see the band at all. You will have travelled hundreds of miles to sell five t-shirts and a couple of CDs. Rock and Roll!
The After Gig Party
After the gig the band will want to relax, have a few drinks and wind down. You will still be selling merchandise.
If you’re lucky your man may come and offer you a drink from the rider. You will be disappointed when the rider doesn’t have any chilled Chardonnay. You will force down a warm can of McEwan’s Export instead and instantly need the loo and be unable to go because you can’t leave the merchandise.
When you finally pack up and join the band you will find a much younger woman hitting on your man. You will approach and be ignored by her. Your man may even introduce you as his girlfriend to her and she will still ignore you and carry on trying to bed your man. At one point, either of you are going to have to find an unlocked cupboard and kick her into it and lock it behind her to get rid of her. Either that or the bass player will snap her up, keeping everyone happy.
But make no mistake, these women will stop at nothing and you must be very secure in your relationship to be able to tolerate it and not want to go all Yoko Ono on their asses.
Invariably you will discover the accommodation for the band has enough beds for band members only. Or worse, is one room only. Or worse, doesn’t exist and you all have to sleep in the van or at some random’s house.
Wannabe groupies may think hanging out with the band will mean wild sex with your chosen bloke in a series of luxurious hotel rooms. Sorry, that is rarely the case. There is nothing sexy about being squashed in a nylon sofa in a single sleeping bag with your snoring boyfriend whilst listening to the drummer and his new girlfriend getting it on 1 metre away from you.
The next day
Drive hundreds of miles to do it all again.
Girls that hang around with the band rarely last long. After my one token trip I let Meeester go and live the rock and roll dream on his own. Much better that way. And no groupie floozie tempted him away, after all.
We celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary this week. Happy Anniversary Meeester! Don't ever make me carry your guitar again.
Saturday, 25 August 2007
It is Saturday morning and I have a hangover.
A totally and utterly unjustified hangover. I had three glasses of white wine alongside my dinner and after dinner chat sessions with my extended family. This morning I am absolutely raging. Why? Do? I? Feel? So? Crap?
But I already know the reason. The reason I feel so crap is that I don’t drink enough water. I hate the stuff. I don’t like the way it tastes and I actually rarely feel particularly thirsty. I’m not much of a juice drinker either. I wish I was, I would probably look better and I know I would definitely feel better.
The most liquid that goes past my lips is the little bit of water I take with my paracetamol.
I am actually fond of the idea of having a drip installed. I could pop it in at night and re-hydrate without having to drink. Lovely.
Now, I have to tell you a story don’t I? You’re not going to like it. It’s utterly horrible. You’ll think less of me….Oh well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Meeester and I were in our first flat before we got married. I was a lecturer in a college that was 65 miles from my house. It was my first grown up, no pissing about job. I had to travel 90 minutes there and back every day on the horrific, mainly single carriage, tractor laden A96. I was always on the road by 6.30am, often in varying states of readiness (I seem to remember occasionally driving in my jammies and getting changed along the way. I am not a morning person.)
One night, our downstairs neighbours were moving and had decided to have everyone in the block over for last night drinks and chat. But it was a school night. Oh dear... I didn’t drink a horrible amount, just enough to make sure that the 5 hours sleep I had wasn’t enough.
I awoke the next morning and was determined to get some water into my system before heading off to work. I got in the car and went for petrol for my ever thirsty Volvo and a big bottle of Evian for my never thirsty self. I drank half the water in one go. Chuggity chug. That’ll do the trick. I set off.
Meanwhile inside my breakfast-less body my vacuum of a stomach is sent into shock at the sudden invasion of a little seen visitor. Cold pints of water flood in and my stomach sets about rejecting the experience as being too cold, too wet, too alien, too much and too nutritious. I am traveling at 70 miles an hour on a dual carriageway at this point.
You can imagine what happened. At 70 miles an hour. With no warning. All over the dash and inside windscreen. I had to stop the car, get out, undress, change (I had an overnight bag of clothes that I hadn’t quite got round to taking into the house, thankfully). The commuters of the Aberdeen to Inverness road got quite a treat that day.
I got to work and managed to get through the day with the help of a shower in the Sports and Leisure department and a bizarre kind of "show must go on" mentality.
That night safely back at home, I wondered whether phoning the Guinness Book of Records to claim the record for the highest land speed velocity throw up would make the best of a bad experience.
Thursday, 23 August 2007
A quick post to let you know that this weekend I've agreed to blogsit.
Joseph of "Don't Call Me Joe" is away and I've volunteered to fill in for him til he gets back next week.
I know, it's a bit weird, but I've just posted over there this minute on his patch.
Follow me over and comment as you would if you were on the Misssives. But don't spill anything on the carpet or he'll be cross.
Joseph is also one of the contributors to Celebrity Litigation, which is going great guns. Might not have mentioned that before...
Sonny is our dog. He is 10 weeks old.
It’s time I did a wee Sonny post as he is a bona-fide member of the Flying Martinis . I promise not to do another one any time soon, as there’s nothing as dull as folk going on about pets. Indulge me, this once.
Here’s 10 Sonny-related facts
1. The three cats hold regular conferences about him on the stair landing. I swear I see them congregating far more regularly than they used to. The conference organiser is Harleyboy, the elder statesman (he's 15, which is old for a cat and like Nelson Mandela he shows no sign of slowing down), Libby is Mary Robinson and Lulu is Condoleeeza Rice. They are proposing sanctions and a trade embargo.
2. I have used more kitchen roll in two weeks than I ever have in my entire life. Toilet training is a tricky business. I am thinking of applying for shares in “Bounty”. That and getting wooden flooring.
3. Dogs prefer cat food to almost anything else. But if they manage to steal and eat any, they will produce twenty turds in half an hour.
4. Puppies are clever little beasts. I taught the boy how to sit in five minutes with some cat munchies and a clicker. Five minutes! Crufts here we come! Get my flat shoes and tartan skirt ready!
5. He is so beautiful – everything about him is beautiful. But I can’t stand to look at his man’s parts. They upset me. I’ll need to come to terms with them, soon. I would like it better if they were pixelated when I looked at them like on censored images.
6. He’s an underwear fetishist. He presented a visiting Sky telly engineer with a bra of mine and I think the bloke thought he was in a "Carry On" movie for a second. Nae luck, mate; I've given up sex-blogging.
7. He has eaten his way through a computer mouse cable, the strap of my green wedges shoes, a set of fairy lights and this weeks’ Grazia. He’s nothing if not full of variety.
8. He has been blessed with a bark that isn’t commensurate with his small frame. Surely some mistake in the dog factory. Somewhere there is a Rottweiler who opens his mouth and a little girlie squeak comes out as Sonny has stolen his bark (and probably his pants)
9. Junior Missy is bloody good with dogs. She is particularly good as spraying carpet cleaner and taking Sonny out for a pee whenever I ask. She's channelling her inner pup and Sonny loves her. She’s the next Barbara Woodhouse, but with better dress sense.
10. The Flying Martinis are definitely dog people.
Tuesday, 21 August 2007
Jeremy Beadle has a small penis. But on the other hand, it's quite big.
Meester and I were watching a late night bit of telly last week on the rare occasion that we actually sit down together without little beasts hanging off us.
It was the Friday Night Project. OK, I know it’s not that late night, but it is for me; at about 10pm I flake out like an old lady in a sedate retirement home after the evening sherry.
I like the Friday Night Project in general, but for one thing; the horrible, “Let’s Get Our Special Guest to Humiliate an Unsuspecting Member of the Public in a jolly prank” type segment. It is awful. The worst of it is that they invite the poor bugger onto the live show and apologise/humiliate then some more after the VT is played.
Most of the victims have usually taken the whole week to get over the humiliation just to have it rerun. I wonder, does the show pay for the therapy afterwards?
This type of thing only gets a laugh from me when it is a vain celebrity that is being lampooned as they signed up to be our entertainment bitches, so they are fair game. The rest of us, did not sign up. So leave us alone.
On this particular show, we are watching Kanye West make some poor guy think that he had killed the singing star’s granny. What’s so bloody funny about that? I found myself getting really angry and upset about the whole thing. I am on th couch ranting to that effect. Meeester tries to get me to calm down and I tell the following story by way of explanation of why such things enrage me.
I’m sixteen. I am in Glasgow with my best mate, H and we’ve money to burn as we are shopping for holiday clothes in preparation for our first ever holiday away from our parents that summer.
We are in a most excellent mood as the trip combines our favourite things: Glasgow, larking about, shopping and checking out lads. I also must remember to get my passport photo taken as am no longer allowed to travel on my mother’s and must get my own in time for the holiday.
It’s nearing the end of the shopping trip and we’re making our way back to Queen Street Station when we pass a tiny little jeans shop. What harm can one more shop do? We pop in for a look.
After about 5 minutes of perusing suddenly, from what seems like out of no-where, three guys jump out at me shouting and whooping about something. They are right in my face.
Without really knowing what the blazes is going on, I am physically manhandled towards the cash desk. The guys are the shop assistants. It appears that I am their thousandth customer! It appears that I have won a pair of jeans! I am completely and utterly bewildered and embarrassed. The whole shop is looking over in my direction as I stand there frozen in the middle of much whooping and shrieking.
And then it gets worse. A pair of jeans of an undetermined size are thrust into a bag by one of the lads and then they all start to clap. I am then forced to be kissed on the cheek by each one of the lads. The lads, by the way, are maybe in their early twenties; an age of boy that I have had absolutely no contact with up until now, making it more horrific. In fact, I pretty much have had no contact with any age of boy at this stage in my life, so my awkwardness is stratospheric, if awkwardness can be such a thing.
But no,don't relax; it’s about to get even worse. I am handed the bag with the frankly, too small and not very nice jeans in. I reluctantly take it. I start to walk away. I look back; they are still clapping like maniacs. I make it to the door and am about to walk out of it when one of the lads runs up behind me, snatches the bag right off me with quite a bit of force and says, “No love, I don’t think so! Hahhaahahahaa!”.
I spin round to see the the other two lads absolutely wetting themselves in fits of hysterical laughter at my expense. I am beyond humiliated.
I don’t even remember what I did or said at that point.
I do know that I left the shop reeling from the fright I had been given. Five minutes later, I burst into tears. Fifteen minutes later, I had to have my first ever passport photograph taken before I missed the train home. I don’t look happy. And for the next ten years every time I go on holiday I see that photo in my passport and feel anger and humiliation over again.
But at least it’s not played on live telly for everyone else to see.
Friday, 17 August 2007
For the first time in six years I have been spending some time in an office environment doing a job for a client. In college I was so busy that any time spent in the office was fleeting between classes and we had little time for time-wasting bollocks.
So, it’s with much mirth and more than a little disdain that I observe things about spending an entire day in an office that I had, until now, forgotten about. I am certain I can stretch this one out into a series, so I’ll deal with the issues one by one instead of writing a novel of a post.
Oh, and before I start, this office is in the North East of Scotland and I will be using some of the local language. This will be underlined and I will helpfully add a glossary at the bottom of the post for those of you not conversant.
1. Office Women and Major Food Issues
When someone goes to the bakery or the chip shop and brings their booty back, it will cause a great stir. If that person is a woman, then doubly so. Fat or thin.
This is enough to make me not want to eat anything in front of anyone. An entire discussion of how naughty someone is for eating chips or a cake will ensue. This will be peppered with envy from other chip-less or cake-less ladies.
“What’s that you’ve got Deirdre”
“Chicken Nuggets and Chips”
Chorus of Ladies, “Ooooohh! Fine!”
“I ken, I’m going to hae a salad the night for my supper”
Someone else will then enter the room, “What’s that fine smell?”
Chorus, “Chicken Nuggets and Chips. Fine!”
Enterer, “Ooooh…..Fit fine!"
Five minutes pass, “Deirdre, I canna concentrate with that fine smell from they chips.”
Deirdre smugly giggles whilst stuffing her face, “I ken. They’re really fiiiiine.”
Someone else enters, “Fa’s got chips. They smell fine! I’m starving now and I’ve jist hid ma sandwiches”
Deirdre, “Me. And I’ve a vanilla slice for after”
And then after slight thought, “Finnnnnnne....!”
This will last until chips and slice are devoured.
1 hour later Deirdre will make an announcement.
“I shouldn’t have had they chips and chicken nuggets”
Someone will helpfully add, “And that vanilla slice”
“I just won’t eat tonight. And I'll hae a salad for ma dinner the morn”
2 hours later someone will announce they are going to the bakery.
“Does anyone want a funcy piece?” they’ll shout.
Chorus, “Bakery. Fiiiinnne!”
Everyone will want something including Deirdre who will order a scone.
“With no butter!” she’ll shout, presumably labouring under the misconception that a scone with no butter falls into the category of health food.
Fine: How delicious! (It is no indication of quality.)
Fit fine!: Oh how absolutely delicious! (Nothing to do with fitness in any way.)
Supper: Dinner or tea. An evening meal. (Not a bit of toast and tea you have before bedtime.)
Fa: Who. (Not a musical note or a long, long way to ruuuuun.)
Ken: to know. (Not a bloke’s name)
The morn: Tomorrow. (Not this morning. Nothing to do with the morning, in fact.)
Funcy Piece (fancy piece): A yummy cake. (Not someone’s live-in-lover.)
Monday, 13 August 2007
Starting a new job has made me think about past experiences vis-à-vis the workplace. I’ve already done the naked German work place experience. So, now it’s time to do the Sexually Harassed by a Boss who looked like Barry Gibb post.
I never really knew much about sexual harassment before I actually started to work in the production company owned by Barry Gibb lookalikey. If I had been asked to describe sexual harassment I probably would have thought it would involve a boss forcing himself on you, a bit of flashing or a wee grab of the boobs; something physical like that. But of course sexual harassment takes many forms, and perhaps it’s the non-physical type that can be the most insidious as it’s not exactly provable, tangible or obvious.
For seven years I was one of the targets of Barry. Given that I have seven years' worth of stories, there’s too much to fit into a blog. So, what follows are little vignettes of hideousness ending with the straw that broke the camel’s back and made me take up the offer of teaching at college.
No 1: The Time I Co-Presented a Live Show
So I’m producing a live news magazine show that is broadcast at a major industry Expo. I've everything to prove having only been in the job a month. The co-anchor pulls out two days before the Expo and Barry insists I fill in. As well as script and produce the bloody thing.
I have, at this point, no presenting experience and I’m pretty sure I was total shit. The makeshift “studio” in the Expo is right next to outside doors and it is freeeezing. And like most girls and, I believe, blokes when it gets cold nipples protrude slightly. I am not immune to this. For some reason I am not wearing a jacket whilst on air and Barry is making a fucking nuisance of himself in the control gallery (i.e: I am as useful technically as a chocolate toaster, but I own the company so I will hang out in the gallery doing fuck all in order to impress young ladies)
He spots the nipples on the screen.
His day is made.
I never ever hear the end of how “Misssy gets sexually aroused whilst on camera”. For the next six years he will tell this story over and over again to everybody he ever meets. Usually in my presence.
No2. The Night out on the Day after I tell him I am Pregnant.
As if telling him I was pregnant wasn’t hideous enough:
“Meeester and I are expecting a baby”, I say.
“Fucking hell, I thought you were into your career! This is way out of the blue”
The next night a range of us are out for some kind of work's do. Barry is pissed and is sitting next to me, as he always seems to be on these occasions, no matter how hard I try to engineer otherwise.
The following conversation can be heard by everyone, including those not even in our party.
“Fuck, I can’t believe you’re pregnant”
“That’s fucking it for you”
“What do you mean?”
“You’re finished. After this you’ll be a mum, you’ll be past it”
“You won’t be a shag anymore, you’ll be a frump. Seen it happen a million times”
And so on……..
The Straw that Breaks the Camel’s Back
It is the Christmas Party.
6pm: For the seventh year running Barry has organised the tables so that I am sat next to him. Apparently I have not gone "frumpy" enough to be demoted from the position of “Person I’d Most Like to Abuse my Power Over”.
Oh, and this year’s a special one as Barry’s wife has finally found out he’s a womanising dirty bastard and has filed for divorce. Barry is drinking heavily.
8pm: Dinner is over, I run to find my friends and try and leave Barry’s, no doubt suggestive, conversation behind me.
I am up dancing with one of these friends and all of a sudden I feel a looseness to my dress, which is a spaghetti strap number that ties at the back. Barry has pulled the string. Thankfully, I am in time to catch it and not see the whole ensemble fall to the floor revealing entire naked body except for Bridget Jones pants.
10pm: Barry drinks some more. He is really bloody pissed and is seen in tears in front of other target of sexual harassment declaring how sad he is since wife left him two weeks before their Silver Wedding anniversary. Boo Bloody Hoo!
11pm: I am sitting with a bunch of my work mates when Barry stumbles over and tries to hold court. Everyone can’t tell him to fuck off since he’s the boss. We all humour him except for Delightful New Start who loudly, innocently and drunkenly asks, “Who’s the wanker?”
I practically clap with delight. Delightful New Start is now my favourite person.
11.30pm: I am thinking of going home. A taxi is called, but it will be twenty minutes so I rejoin group. Barry reappears. He is now talking to Delightful New Start who is more than a little pissed, as he has just stopped being a student and can’t believe his luck at the free bar.
This is the part of the conversation I have no option but to hear,
“…except for Misssy. Hey Misssy, I bet you’re one” shouts Barry across the table, gate-crashing into any conversation I might have been having with someone a lot nicer.
“Bet I’m what?”
“A screamer, a moaner. C’mon you are, aren’t you?” *************************************
I wake up next morning and promptly write out my notice.
Thursday, 9 August 2007
Normally I write about things that have happened. This next short post is about things that are going to happen.
We set off today for the Tartan Heart Festival in Beauly, near Inverness. This festival has been going for about 4 years and this year it's extra special for us as the wonderful Lorelei are opening the festival (and closing it too apparently). The Lorelei is the band that Meeester and various other lovelies of mine play in.
Also playing at the Festival are the Magic Numbers, Martha Wainwright, Duke Special, Amy MacDonald, Julian Cope, James and Lloyd Cole.
So, excited we are indeed.
If you are going to the Festival come and see the band. Also make yourselves known at Camp Lorelei- if you see a black flag aloft a coral of caravans, tents and noisy kids then you've arrived. If it's nighttime be prepared to join in a sing-song. If it's daytime then be prepared to be overrun with small children.
If you are not going to the Festival and have got a shit weekend lined up, then why not come to the festival? Apparently there are still some tickets.
Fast forward to Sunday and I go down to collect Sonny the most beautiful pup in the world.
I don't know which event I am more excited about.
Meanwhile the new blog Celebrity Litigation seems to be doing rather well. Lots of new posts, lots of excellent bloggers asking to pitch in on the writing and lovely healthy stats for a new blog, so thank you.
If you haven't been over yet, then do it! If you haven't subscribed, then do it! There's a poll in which you can vote for the celeb blog you most want to read and everything!
Also, if you have a post (as a celeb) that you think is as good as, if not better than, what you've read then email it to me and I'll stick it up if it makes me chuckle. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday, 5 August 2007
1. I have only ever been in one physical fight in my life, I was 10. I called Mark Faulkener a “big Jessie”. He took exception and pounced on me and ripped out my newly pierced hoop earring. Sore. Clearly Mark wasn't an advocate of the “Sticks and stones may break my bones…” philosophy.
It’s been two months since this event happened and it has taken a bit of cogitating and digesting, in the words of former Masterchef host, Loyd Grossman ,before I could write it up. Reasons for this are bewilderment and embarrassment. You’ll understand why in two ticks.
The Scene: The Moorings Bar, Aberdeen Harbour. Never go there.
The Clientele: Goths, Bikers, hoors, ex-offenders, grown-up punks, foreign sailors, dwarves and hobbits.
The Characters: Misssy M, Misssy A (sister of Misssy M), Ma Leys, Brick Shithouse, Sue Barker’s Grandma, Eighties Throwback Kelly Osbourne, Oscar’s Mama, Tourettes Linda.
The Event: Meeester’s band do a secret gig to road test new tunes to the hardest audience imaginable. Don’t ask me why.
It’s 10 minutes before Meeester’s band go on stage and as punishment for being as stupid as to marry the bandmates, Misssy M, Ma Leys and Missy A are told to go and earn their keep (their “keep” being some future mystical revenue that will ensure their safe delivery to the South of France and a life of cocktails and lounging- please God) by handing out flyers to the audience.
All of a sudden, Misssy M hears the voice of her younger sister, Misssy A.
“Don’t TOUCH me! You RUDE woman!”
Misssy M turns to see Misssy A face to face with a being who she nearly called Brick Shit House Lady until she checked herself. Brick Shithouse is about 20 stone, possibly with a few too many male hormones, and shouting and spitting god knows what beverage in the face of Misssy A,
“If it’s not the UK Subs or the Damned, I’m not fucking interested!”, she spits maniacally.
Misssy M wants to go over and explain that Dave Vanian is probably now working at Specsavers and Nicky Garratt is a chartered accountant. Instead she stops her PR duties and goes over to help her sis.
“I’m handing you a flipping leaflet. Read it or don’t read it. There’s no need to spit in my face!”, Misssy A says to Shit House in a manner to suggest she is in control of the situation. A quick exchange of looks between the two sisters confirms this.
Brick Shit House says, “Blah Blah Blah!” and spits some more into Misssy A’s face. Misssy A moves on.
The band starts to play. They are, of course, flipping wonderful. Assembled rock beauties, Misssy A, Misssy m, Oscar’s Mama, Ma Leys and Tourettes Linda are enjoying themselves aplenty. Then they spot the Brick Shit House at the front pogo-ing and generally doing something that flirts unsuccessfully with the vaguest definition of dancing.
“Check out Brick Shit House! It might not be the UK Subs or the Damned but she’s having a great time.” Misssy M observes.
“Mental fucking bitch”, Tourettes Linda adds. The group love the turn of phrase of the Tourettes Linda and possibly clap with delight.
They also check out the companions of Brick Shit House. They seem a lot younger than Shit House, but it’s dark and difficult to tell. The pair are both dressed bizarrely. One is in red and black leggings with a red leather high waisted jacket and permed peroxide hair; the other is in black and white leggings and a bum hiding black smock top and Kelly Osborne black hair). They agree they haven’t seen the like since 1988.
Stripy Red and Black has turned round and well, if she isn’t sixty if she is a day. Holy crap, she looks like Sue Barker’s granny. They all clock this. Having already spotted a woman (maybe) that looks like Gimley’s wife at the bar (complete with beard) and a guy who has filed his eye teeth into points, Sue Barker’s Granny is the newest addition to the group’s collection of Moorings oddities.
Then it happens. Again Misssy M hears Misssy A’s voice behind her. “Don’t push me…..Urrrggggh!”
Misssy M turns to see Misssy A push the Brick Shit House with all her force. It appears Shit House had come off the dance floor for a breather, spotted the purveyor of the offending leaflets of the very band she has just been enjoying, pushed her over with her considerable might and then (and this is the weirdest bit) grabbed her arse cheek, sinking her nails into it. The woman is quite clearly clinically mental.
And something happens to MisssyM. Her head explodes with anger and says to her, “No-one attacks your wee sister, what are you going to do about this, then MisssyM?”
And then another thing happens, the latent Weegie comes out of Misssy M's sub-conscious and says (very calmly they are later told, by a stunned Oscar’s Ma who watches on aghast),
“You! Beat it! Get lost!”
All of a sudden Brick Shit House’s henchwomen appear in the shape of Sue Barker’s Granny and Eighties Throwback Kelly Osbourne. Shit House is foaming at the mouth and both Misssy M and Misssy A are shitting themselves. They’ve never done this before. What happens now? Do they wait to get pummelled or what? What does the inside of a Black Mariah look like?
Sue Barker’s Granny, Eighties Throwback Kelly Osbourne, and Brick Shit house move uncomfortably close to the sisters and make the kind of noises that start a “bitch fight”.
But the sisters front it out and warn the assembled harpies off verbally, without swearing but in the voices they use when they naturally get annoyed, the accents of their youth, the accents of those parents who have avoided fist fights before them.
“Get lost, the lot of you! You two, take your mate home before she causes some trouble.”
And then the most bizarre thing happens. They leave. They actually leave. They leave the bar. The sisters checked. And checked again.
And that, my readers is proof that Aberdonians are scared of Weegies. Right there. Even skinny 8 stone girlie ones who have never had a fight in their lives and were actually physically shaking in fear the rest of the night.
The sisters are now feared throughout the toon of Aberdeen but have retired to their normal lives to be thoroughly embarrassed and frightened that anyone tells their mum of what went on that night.
Thursday, 2 August 2007
I did speak, but just to a small team of lucky listeners. Pretty much my parents and grandparents were the chosen few, give or take and uncle or two. I never spoke to anyone I didn’t know well.
Just about every school report card I got from school had the words “quiet” and “conscientious” peppered throughout them. Anyone in the teaching profession will be able to tell you that these are codewords for “I haven’t a clue who I’m reporting on as clearly they have made no impression on me whatsoever”.
Everything changed around the age of about twelve when I decided that chatting might be a laugh, and shyness could, in the words of the Morrissey, stop me doing all the things in life I’d like to. But the turning point is not what I want to focus on. I’ll do that another time.
Despite my turn to the chattier side of life, I still like quiet and there are periods of time where I like to be quiet and not engage in conversation. Indy, my son is the same, and I’ll happily share my quiet time with him. Not chatting.
I do, however, have two key players in the Flying Martinis that don’t like to be quiet at all, ever. One is Meeester. That's fine-my choice- opposites attract and all that and I often send him off to chat to people when I can't be bothered. The other is my actual genetic offshoot, Junior Misssy.
Despite the moniker, she is no more like me than flying air. The girl wakes up chatting, she goes through the whole day chatting, she chats while she eats, she chats in the bath, she chats in the car, she chats on the toilet, she chats when no-one else is there, she chats to the cats, she chats to ladies she meets in the shop, she chats to the snails in the garden, she chats to foreign people who don’t understand her, she chats from January 1st to December 31st with no break except for sleep. And I’ve even heard her chat when she’s doing that.
On holiday she spent a lot of time in her seat on the back of my bike and it was like having an in-bike entertainment system stuck on Talk Radio.
She fell asleep beside me in bed about 30 minutes ago. Up until that point she chatted all through Big Brother (she reckons they should get “kicked out if they say a bad word” Good call, I say) and given that she seemed full of topics of conversation, she was threatening to chat all the way through “My Name is Earl” which is the Favourite Television Show of the Flying Martinis.
I had to gently tell her to stop.
This is a child psychology dilemma. Your chatty kid is driving you daft but you don’t want them to feel that you are not interested in answering any more questions in this particular day. Last question of the day was “Mu-um? Does Harley have kittens in his tummy?" (Harley is our fifteen year old male eunuch cat.) Now, this question is a good one and on it’s own is quite cute. Darling, even.
But I tell you, it must be question number 3,003 today.
And about 1,000 of those questions have been the one that every parent would like to see banned:
“Mu-um, are we there yet?”
Ever since our mammoth journey to Holland, this has been a favourite. But to be asking it when we are going to the supermarket is a bit much.
Bless her and her little active enquiring mind but if anyone has one of those flotation tank thingys going spare, can I have first dibs? Must be lockable from the inside.
Because I’m still a quiet wee girl deep down.