Where’s Stewie?

A good while ago my sister bought me a stuffed toy of Stewie from Family Guy. For some time, he lived atop some shelves in the bedroom, his beady little eyes looking out across the room and his accusatory finger pointed in menace towards us – it really followed you round the room.

At some point, he was relegated to a plastic crate in a wardrobe where he has lived for a few years now. But recently he was unearthed and, since then, has been trying his hardest to freak Carole out. Because if there’s one thing she hates more than being hit in the face with a Bagpuss flung down the stairs, it’s finding Stewie somewhere she didn’t expect.

He’s been on top of the bathroom door and in the bed. In one masterstroke of genius he was in her wardrobe, at eye height, nestled snuggly amongst the garments in there. And, most recently, he was placed in a transparent plastic box underneath something that Carole would, at some point, need to move. That point was tonight.

She called him a mother-fudger. Or something like that.

Each time Carole finds him, she hides him somewhere to get at me. Except I am not scared of Stewie like she is. So when I found him, for example, in my underwear draw the other day, wearing a sock as a onesie, it didn’t phase me. When he decided to end it all by hanging himself on the stair bannister with the cord from Carole’s dressing gown it was a sad time, yes, but he still found himself up and at ’em for hiding in the wardrobe, or bed, or wherever it was he ended up.

Tonight, though, Carole threw him out of an upstairs window. She went to all the trouble of moving the various gnomes, penguins and dusty plants from the bathroom windowsill and threw him onto the patio. Then screamed and made out that a bat had flown past the window and scared her.

Defenestrating a poor defenceless toy is a huge step in this battle.

Now it’s on….


Click Bait

Was there a memo that went round the clickbait authors for which style of picture to use for certain things?

Currently there is a run on a few types of financial clickbait – one about PPI, one about mortgages and one about credit cards.

The PPI ones are, I think, the most irritating purely because a lot of them use a picture of an incredibly smug woman holding up a letter of some sort and pointing at it. Even through the medium of a photograph you can tell that this is a woman who would get on your tits. She might not mean to come across that way when her picture was taken by whatever stock photo company has her picture, but it sure as hell does. And she is not alone in the holding up paper – when it comes to PPI it’s all just people holding up paper that may or may not be financial in nature and pointing at it. And the clickbait says something like “A great way to find out about your PPI” and then it has that red circle on it that everything on the internet has to have these days. A circle that implies something is hidden in plain sight and that you’re stupid if you can’t see it, and obviously you know what it is but why not click this link anyway just to check you’re right?

Credit Cards, meanwhile, are targeting people who took out cards between specific years. And to illustrate this, they have a woman with natty hair. Sometimes they have a woman standing by a cash machine (which, incidentally, is THE worst way you can use a credit card), but mainly it’s just a close up of a portion of a woman’s face. And some natty hair.

And then the mortgages – again targeting people who may have taken out a mortgage between specific years – is all bearded hipsters. They look like they should be dining in the cereal cafĂ©, not worrying about a mortgage they took out in 1998. Hipsters don’t have to worry about things like mortgages – even if they have one – they just need to sit back and relax, letting their beards grow luxuriously while they make their own clothes out of bean sprouts. If it was something about the price of beard oil, then yes I can see why a hipster would need to be included. Or some sort of hat tax. But mortgages don’t phase them.

And then the larger question arises – why are there so many stock photos of hipsters? It’s not very often you see the same bearded wunderkind on any two pieces of mortgage-based click bait. There’s a wide range of them. All staring off into the middle distance. Probably thinking about whether a waistcoat made from their own hair would be itchy or not.


Kind Of The First Obligatory GBBO One

I can’t bring myself to watch it.

We are recording it, but not tonight. We’ve chosen some weird time early in the morning to record the show.

But I can’t bring myself to watch it.

Carole’s intending to give it a go and, probably, I’ll find myself watching as well but… it’s the adverts isn’t it? That’s partly why we’re taping it, because we can then remove the annoyance of the ads by replacing it with the annoyance of fast-forwarding through the ads and then into the show itself, then trying to get back to the end of the adverts but going too far and then just saying sod it and watching the adverts anyway.

Because that’s more fun.

I don’t like Prue Leith – I’ve never warmed to her in anything she’s been passing an opinion in, whether it’s one of the Great British Menu things or, well, just anything she’s been on. And I feel that might actually hamper my enjoyment of the show. Not to mention the fact that I can’t really trust Noel Fielding to not start some riff about how a contestant is using unicorn winkies and fairy bums to make something. Because that’s what he does. He’s wacky and what-have-you.

And I’ve had a quick squizz at all the contestants and none of them leap out at me yet.

I can’t bring myself to watch it.

It just feels wrong. Even to think about it makes me feel dirty, like I’m cheating on an old friend.

I can’t bring myself to watch it…

… but I probably will.



Another year, another Maize Maze.

This year was the tallest the maize has been, so it did pose a decent challenge when it came to solving the thing – especially as, for the most part, we don’t use the map, preferring to strike out for victory on our own merits.

But by the second loop of the outer ring, and having encountered the same answers to the quiz a couple (and in some cases more) of times, we did resort to a little bit of looking at the map.

There were people in the maze who had been following the map religiously and you’d find them wailing about not knowing where they were. We weren’t using the map and would be able to work out – to within a very small margin of error – exactly where we were and then we’d put the map away and pretend to be winging it.

But, of course, what is a Maize Maze without some sort of nemesis. In previous years there has been, for example, the child who was running everywhere and – sadly – ran into my elbow (entirely an accident, but probably the best accidentally elbowing in the head of a shit anyone could ever pull off).

This year it was a father and five children clearly on an outing because either mother can’t take it any more (entirely feasible) or she was working.

Everywhere we went we came across this bunch of shites. We even, on occasion, went the opposite direction to avoid them, only to find that the path curved round to the same location where the dad would just look world-weary while the kids chased each other round with armfuls of corn that they’d pulled off the maize in the maze. For some reason. At one point the round son said, “Imagine this is a knife and I’m chasing after you to stab you…” so that’s the sort of level we were dealing with.

They finished the maze just ahead of us because we saw them getting towards the end and walked painfully slowly to allow them time to get out of the way. From the look of the kids I imagine they all came in reasonably quick succession – the youngest in a push chair – and I suspect that taking them all round the maize maze possibly made the father wish he had some sort of evening time hobby other than procreation.

Still, despite that, it was a good run through the maze. Just the one run as well, this year, which is unusual as it normally takes a couple of goes to find all the quiz answers. All the previous years of practice obviously pay off.

Yeah, let’s say that rather than that we ended up circling each wing of the butterfly a couple of times so really didn’t have much choice but to find the answers.

Maybe we should use the map next year…

The Diem Has Not Met The Carpe

I’m cross with myself for today.

Which is daft, and totally illogical and not something that is in any way healthy, but hey that’s what happens every now and again when your brain chemicals are all out of whack.

During the last week I’ve been having bouts of insomnia where I’m finding myself still awake at 2 or 3 in the morning for no real reason that I can think of. Other, that is, for the fact that I am lying in bed thinking that I really want to go to sleep, which is clearly impacting on my ability to go to sleep. And, to mix it up even further, when I’ve not been able to get to sleep until the wee small hours, I’ve also been able to wake up ridiculously early.

Today all that kind of caught up with me and I ended up having a nap for most of the afternoon. Which, technically, isn’t a nap anymore. It’s actual sleep. But that happened.

And I’ve been cross with myself ever since because now I feel like I’ve wasted the day. Even though I had no concrete plans to do anything in particular outside of my usual mooching around and what have you.

And I do know it’s ridiculous. I’m cross with myself for my body saying “hey, let’s sleep because we’ve not been doing that for a bit and now seems like a really good time” on an afternoon where I had nothing planned but there was the potential for things. And because I’ve missed that potential I’m in some sort of mood.

Sometimes you can look at this side of mental health from the outside and realise how ridiculous some of the stuff that can affect you actually sounds. That’s not to belittle the legitimacy of the feelings, because you should never do that. But honestly, ask me if I’m ok and I’ll say that I’m cross because I feel like I’ve wasted a day and then ask me what I was going to do and I’ll tell you that I had absolutely no idea.

So have I wasted it?


Sometimes I’d like to crawl inside my brain and shake an angry fist at my neurons because they can be proper arseholes…