Games Night

January 31, 2015

I’m sorry that this blog is late
I’ve been playing games
I’ve barely won a single won
I hide my face in shame.

My five point lead has vanished now
I’m barely hanging on
It’s dropped down to just one point
My mojo’s sadly gone.

The dice are not my friends right now
The cards aren’t falling right
I don’t think that I’m wrong to say
I had a shocking run tonight.

The game I won – all on its own
Was tense right from the start
I genuinely thought I’d screwed it up
Be still my beating heart.

But eight games were played
And that one I won
The other seven?
A lot less fun.

I’ve thrown away my healthy lead
Taken defeat from the jaws of a win
I need to up my game next time
Because my margin’s just too thin,

So bring it on, I say to them
My opponents on the night
Because next time I’ll be in the zone
And my game face won’t be shite.


Deeply Dippy

January 30, 2015

You could argue that the skeleton – or plaster replica of the skeleton – of a dinosaur hasn’t really been relevant to the modern world since, you know, the Mesazoic era. But that hasn’t taken away from the magic and, even for a 37-year old geek, awe of meandering into the vast, beautiful hall of the Natural History Museum and gazing up at the skull of Dippy the dinosaur suspended above you, an imagined wry smile on her simulated jaw bones.

I first visited the Natural History Museum when I was a very small child and – along with the experience of “walking on the moon” at the Science Museum (illegally, I might add), seeing the skeleton of Dippy is one of the earliest memories I have of visiting the two museums. And even when we visited last year, it still has the same appeal as it always had. It’s hard not to stand in front of it and just be lost in a moment of quiet contemplation (and it’s also one of the areas in the museum which isn’t filled with school children running about being shits for any great length of time).

I’m not sure I’ll feel the same about a whale skeleton. I mean, yes, I kind of see that a whale skeleton is relevant to the world today as it highlight’s man’s destruction of the natural world and things of that nature. You know, it’s very deep and meaningful and thought provoking, but it’s not a fricking dinosaur is it?

If you were making a chart of things that were cool, I don’t think you’d ever put a whale above a dinosaur. I mean, it’s just not done is it?

No-one would have fond memories of watching “One Of Our Whales Is Missing” during a myriad of school holidays.

And anyway, there’s a Blue Whale in the Hall of Mammals. Presumably they’ll have the skeleton in the main hall with a sign that says “If you want to see what it looks like with skin…”. That’s like having a puppetry museum and having Matthew Corbett’s hand on display as you enter it, and Sooty on display in a side room.

I mean, I’m no expert on these things but in all the times I have been to the Natural History Museum, I don’t ever recall anyone shouting out with excitement “Can we go and look at the whales?” as they cross the threshold. Everyone, unless they’re insane (or really interested in that cross-section of tree right at the top of the stairs), enters the museum, goes past the bag check area, down the side of Dippy and turns left into the dinosaurs. Because dinosaurs are amazing. Admittedly, on the after-dark nights when then museum is open for night time visits, people allegedly go and have sex on the blue whale, but I think that’s more because however horny you might be in a museum environment, dinosaurs are just cool and to have sex in, on or near them would just be wrong.

Wrapping Up

January 29, 2015

Snowy weather in the morning
A sight you do behold
You wrap up warm to leave the house
Protected from the cold.

A hat, a scarf, maybe gloves
And boots upon your feet
You set out like a sherpa
Onto your winter street.

Wrapped up like an eskimo
You head on off to work
Little do you think right then
Coming home you’ll look a berk.

Because you see the snow has gone
It’s no longer on the ground
And you look like you’ve been knitted
And you’re the only one around.

And people that you see in town
On the return commute
Are somehow dressed quite normally
Like they’re weatherly astute.

None of them look like Nanook
Or Sir Ranulph Fiennes
They look like business men
Heading out for post-work wines.

And there you are all decked out
Your jacket zipped up tight.
I hate it when the morning’s snowy
But there’s bugger all at night.

Bedward and Mr Simpson

January 28, 2015

I think Peppa must read this blog.

Less than twelve hours after I wrote yesterday’s blog about her waking me up with cold paws, she’s already come up with a new – and, if I’m honest, incredibly unexpected – method of waking us up.

This morning, you see, she got Homer Simpson to do it.

Carole has had a Homer Simpson dashboard thing since I’ve know her. I’ve never know it be on a dashboard, it’s always just sat on a bookshelf in the bedroom and periodically one or the other of us has pressed the little yellow button and enjoyed Homer’s traffic-based insights. “Red light turn green…. now! Now! Now! Now! Woohoo!” etc. But recently, no matter how hard you pressed the button, Homer didn’t speak. His batteries had finally given up the ghost. He was an ex-Homer. We coulld have changed the batteries, if we had access to one of the world’s smallest screwdrivers, but we didn’t and so he resided upon the bookshelf for all intents and purposes dead.

He’s recently moved from the bookshelf during a period of tidying up, when we started to declutter the clutter on the front of the shelves. All the nick-nacks and toys and Lego and Muppet beanie babies and… well, you get the idea. Obviously, as Homer is dead, we figured it might be time to remove him. But with every big decision like that there comes a period of indecision in which an object is moved into another room, or put somewhere for throwing away, for a couple of weeks before the deed can be done.

So Homer was living in the spare bedroom. Temporarily on a chair that Peppa was also using as a bed, despite it having things on it. She is nothing if not persistent, that one – she will not let obstacles stand in her way when it comes to lying on something she has taken a shine to.

It would appear that during her slumberings, Peppa has somehow managed to activate Homer, causing him to utter one of his hilarious phrases about other drivers being idiots or his car turning mysteriously into the car park of Krusty Burger. Which woke us up. And scared the crap out of Peppa as well.

We found Homer on the floor. It’s unclear as to whether Homer was pushed and then spoke, or spoke and then pushed. Either way, Peppa seems to have breathed new life into him. And found a brilliant new way to wake us up in the process – there’s nothing better than the unexpected sound of another person in your house to startle you into consciousness, even if it then turns out that the person in question is only about four inches tall and yellow.

So that probably means we won’t be throwing him away anymore.

Stupid indecision period.

Sleep Cat-nea

January 27, 2015

I didn’t get to sleep until something o’clock in the morning last night.  I didn’t intend for that to happen.

In my defense, when I last saw the time it was something past eleven. And then some Xbox happened. And then it was a bit later than that. But not obscenely late. I think I have some kind of inbuilt sensor which alerts me when the midnight threshold has been crossed. And once I knew I’d just passed midnight I thought it was best to stop doing what I was doing and go to bed. After all, it was a “school night”, and I had to up bright and early to go to work.

So I went to bed and lay there for a bit, enjoying the fact that it was bloody freezing as the hot water bottle in the bed hadn’t been pushed over to my side and was, instead, nestled firmly beneath Carole’s legs.

And I lay there some more, getting increasingly cross with myself for being unable to sleep which, of course, made it harder to sleep. Which made me get cross. And so on and so forth. All of this ate up valuable sleep time. Cutting into the six hours I had left myself to fully recharge my batteries.

I nodded off at some point, though. Just when all hope was looking lost, I slipped into the warm embrace of slumber, dreaming whatever it was that my subconscious thought I needed to further analyse.

I know I nodded off because I was woken, not long after, by the application of two very cold cat paws to my upper body, which resulting in the breath leaving my lungs in some sort of audible gasp. Or not a gasp, because surely that’s air coming in. Whatever the opposite of a gasp is. It was that, anyway.

I can’t wait until summer!

Hey Sainsbury’s

January 26, 2015

Hey Sainsbury’s,

It’s been a while since I’ve had any reason to write to you. You haven’t done anything that’s really caused much of an issue. I mean, there is the thing with the caramelised red onion chutney being runnier than a room full of charity marathoners, but Carole’s got that handled and you have given us £2.50’s worth of nectar points to go wild in the aisles with (copyright Dale Winton circa the nineties).

But there is one thing that has made me want to put finger to keyboard, and get in touch. It’s a little thing, but I’m worried that it might be threatening your whole online shopping empire.

Because this week you substituted an item I’d ordered for an item that wasn’t a bit like the item I’d ordered. Now, I’m not talking the time Tesco’s couldn’t deliver chocolate drops and threw in a bag of frozen sausages. It’s certainly nothing as outlandish as that. No, the item you substituted wasn’t a but like the item I’d ordered. It was exactly the item I ordered. You substituted a sugar free strawberry jelly mix made by Hartleys for, well, a sugar free strawberry jelly mix made by Hartleys.

I know. What the bloody hell is all that about then?

I know there was some sort of technical issue which meant we didn’t have a print out of what was substituted, so I had to rely on the words of the delivery driver. But I’m almost entirely convinced that the item smuggled into my house in its own special blue bag was the same jelly that I had ordered. Much like with the bananas that you substituted as well. You still gave me bananas. Entirely the same type of bananas. Just three less. I’m really not sure I class that as a substitution – it’s still what we ordered. A substitution, to me, is when we order brioche burger buns and you send brioche finger rolls, neglecting to focus on the “burger” aspect of the bread-based product and we have a moment where we try and work out exactly how we’ll get a burger in something that narrow.

So, if you could address the jelly thing, that would be grand. Otherwise, top job you’re doing. Even the other week when you rang and told us the delivery driver was twenty minutes away, as if we were worried or furious he was late, and he was just arriving inside his delivery window like normal. Really, you’re doing brilliantly.

Just the jelly thing’s a bit weird, innit?



Tea For Eww

January 25, 2015

You’re supposed to experiment when you’re at University. Everyone does it. Or claims to have done it. I mean, I had it nailed because I did three years of Chemistry, so I was pretty much experimenting every day in one way or another. But I didn’t just experiment in the lab. No, once I got hold of a substance and took it home to try it.

That substance was strawberry flavour toothpaste.

Which, when you write it out, sounds alright. It’s toothpaste, but it tastes of strawberries. Everyone likes strawberries. Apart from those people who don’t and the ones who are deathly allergic. But they would be unlikely to buy strawberry flavoured toothpaste.

But I am not those people. So I did buy it.

And in all honesty, it was terrible.

Absolutely awful. I don’t know if the people who made it didn’t know what strawberries actually tasted like, or possibly were a little overambitious in their hopes that the flavour of strawberry would mask all the various bits and bobs (see, that chemistry degree is paying dividends) that make up toothpaste, but it was a resounding failure. I tried it once, maybe twice, and then consigned it to the bin.

You’d have thought I would have learnt my lesson, right there, about trying things that sound good on paper, but a little voice at the back of your head has some doubts. But, it would appear, that is not the case

Which is why, ladies and gentlemen, I bought some liquorice flavour tea.

Any tea that comes with a warning that you should only drink a maximum of one cup a day, is pretty impressive, I’m sure you’ll agree. And it did just that. It made it quite clear that only one cup of comforting liquorice tea should be consumed in any 24 hour period, lest its potent ingredients cause your heart to rupture or somesuch.

I made it to two sips.

It was bloody awful. I was expecting something with the aroma and taste of a liquorice allsort but with a lot less of the chewing. What I got was something that looked like piss in a mug and tasted foul. I think I’d rather have had piss in a mug, in all honesty.

But if we don’t try these things, we’ll never know. That’s what Carole said, as she sipped at her Cranberry and Blood Orange tea which tasted delicious but smelt like a sweaty person.

I’d have settled for my drink tasting like a sweaty person, not whatever horrible concoction had come out of that bag.

If anyone wants nineteen liquorice tea bags, let me know. You can’t have them, because I’ve thrown them away. But I can come round to your house and slap you until you see sense.