24 September, 2008


This is only going to be a short post as I'm tired and I have a very short attention oooh, look, there's some chocolate over there......sorry, attention span tonight but I heard something hilarious this evening and I just want to pass it on to you, my four readers.

Stereotypes are funny, aren't they? As an English person I'm supposed to be cold, unemotional and unclean, apparently. As a female who happened to be born in Essex I'm supposed to be a right old slapper. As a nurse I'm supposed to be either an angel or a right old slapper.

But I digress.

I work with a Chinese nurse who lives close by, occasionally if we're on the same shift she gives me a lift home. We have a little chat and tonight we were discussing Chinese food. Earlier in the day I'd told one of the other nurses that I fancied an egg roll. She was confused because she didn't know what I meant as she'd heard about egg rolls on the TV in American shows and she didn't know what they were. I told her that I didn't know what they were either and it was highly unlikely that I wanted something that I didn't know what it was.

Are you still with me? Good. I repeated this conversation to my Chinese colleague during the shift and we Googled 'egg roll' only to find out that it's a spring roll. Later in the car we were rehashing the whole Chinese food thing and I was telling her how my chopstick technique was somewhat unorthodox but effective. She was telling me how she usually ate noodles or rice for her evening meal as well as for lunch. She paused for a moment then said, "I don't like to eat sandwiches. You eat one then half an hour later you're hungry again."

Come on. It's not just me, is it?

17 September, 2008

Bill Bailey - Tinselworm

A review of the Bill Bailey show has been requested and who am I to say no?

Last nights show was a sellout. Bill has added a couple of extra dates to some locations so look out, you might be lucky. Anyway, back to the show.

It was fantastic. Fantastic. Hilarious, clever, fast paced, bilingual in parts and just downright brilliant. Bill started the evening by deciding to call us 'Tuesday' instead of the more generic Sydney. He began with his idea of the London 2012 Olympic ceremony; an inflatable Winston Churchill, a robot Queen with a Pez head and flying Corgis featured heavily.

My favourite moment was when Bill gave us his interpretation of Australian evening news themes. It's not every day you see a 44 year old man leaping around a stage waving ribbons on sticks to the tune from ABC 7 o'clock news. If I'd laughed any harder I'd have spontaneously combusted on the spot.

Bill mused on changing the British national anthem to the Pink Panther tune and analysed song lyrics from Lionel Richie to The Killers. 'I've got soul but I'm not a soldier' could just have well been 'I've got ham but I'm not a hamster', he thought.

All up he was on stage for two hours. Obviously the show isn't the same as the UK one but I think he filled in the gaps quite nicely.

Finally, I'd like to leave you with a song. It's the song Bill sang to say goodbye to Tuesday. I hope you love it as much as we did.

16 September, 2008

But on that subject...........

Anyone been watching the Paralympics? Outstanding stuff. These athletes are bloody outstanding. Great Britain has 41 golds. 41. 96 medals in total. Australia has a very healthy 20 golds and 71 medals in total and it's not over yet.

Naturally, the athletes will be having parades to welcome them home and celebrate their magnificent achievements. Oh, wait a minute. Australia had a ticker tape parade on Monday for the Olympians. Couldn't wait for the others to come home? Britain is having a celebration for both groups at the same time.

Quite right.

Australian Olympic Committee? Get it right in 2012.

Can't stop

Hello, dear readers.

Just a very quick update.

People have been driving me mad. I think they've been inspired by the full moon. Anyway, I'm just watching the wheelchair rugby semi final between Australia and Canada and then I'm off out to see the superb Bill Bailey. If that doesn't improve my mood there's no hope for me.

I have the day off tomorrow so hopefully I'll have some time to post a long, rambling post about not much in particular.


08 September, 2008

Right to vote

Now then, if any female over the age of 18 reading this doesn't know who that woman is you should be asking yourself what you actually learned at school. That, my dear sisters, is Emmeline Pankhurst and without her and women like her you'd still be the property of a man.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Christ on a bike, it's going to be one of those feminist rants. I'll come back when she posts more LOLcats." You're wrong. It's not. It's a rant about voting.
We have local elections on Saturday and voting is compulsory. That's right, compulsory. I have to get up, get dressed, leave the comfort of my coccoon and turn up at the local primary school to pick which buffoon is going to have a say in what happens in my local area. Whoop de fucking do.

Don't get me wrong, I think voting is fantastic. I am eternally grateful to those brave women (and men) who gave so much in order that I might be able to go and put a cross in a box. I just don't think I should have to do it. The way I see it, voting is a right, not a duty or a responsibility. I know others see it differently but that's just my view and I don't think it will ever change. Making it compulsory takes away my right and turns it into something else.

"But what if no one voted?" I hear the Aussies say. Well, someone would still get elected. Voter turnout to me gives a good insight into the mood of the people. Low turnout? People don't give a shit. Major apathy. Things aren't going well. The politicians are more than a little bit crap. High turnout? Oooh, the public are pissed off and they're exercising their democratic right to show it.

"But you don't have to vote. You can spoil your paper." That's not the point. You've already made me get up, get dressed, leave the cococon and turn up. There's no bloody point not voting once I'm there, is there? I object to being made to turn up in the first place.

Gah. So, who to pick? Being an ex card carrying member of the British Labour Party (hey, don't blame me, I cancelled my membership in 1998) you'd think I'd vote Labour here. Well, no. I don't know why I won't. It might well have something to do with not being able to bring myself to vote for a party which can't even spell its own name properly. Anyway, I've seen a picture of the candidate and he's a shifty looking bugger if I ever saw one. It's bad enough that my local MP is that tall, bald geezer from a rock band. The Liberals? I Googled the local candidates and the first link I got was from a gay website telling me how all three candidates were openly gay. What they do and who they do it with isn't going to get me to vote for them but it makes a refreshing change from all the closet homosexuality in the Tory party.
Green? Dunno. I'll have to look into their policies. There's an Independent candidate, he looks alright. Besides, he wants to put a mobile police station outside the local pub on Friday and Saturday nights. Now that's a vote winner.
I used to love voting in the UK. I wanted to vote. I couldn't wait to turn eighteen so that I could finally make my voice heard. I took pleasure in taking my ballot card down to the local primary school and getting my name marked off. I'd take my voting paper into the polling booth and mark a big X next to the name of the local Labour (see, that's how to spell it) candidate. I'd walk out, go home and have a cup of tea, silently thanking the Suffragettes. I don't feel thay way now. I don't know if that's partly the fact that I don't feel I have a vested interest in Australian politics or the child in me doesn't like being told what to do.
So there you are. I have to vote and I'm not happy.

07 September, 2008

Dear Diary

Another weekend draws to a close and what have I done? Not a lot, actually. I delayed getting dressed until 1.30pm on Saturday then went out in the driving rain to look at settees. I had to wait at the bus stop with a massive group of English backpackers. Christ, they're annoying. Loud and annoying. After that I popped in to visit a friend in Kensington. She kindly gave me a lift home which saved me from getting soaked to the skin. Actually, that reminds me, I walked past the butchers shop and meant to go back and get my goat. Not on my goat. Read here for further details. See that, that's me, that is. Please give Ask Foodycat a go. I have a dull palate and am going to be very unlikely to present any challenge.

Sunday (today), I got dressed at 8.30am and walked up to Clovelly to meet a friend for coffee and to loan her my Flight of the Conchords DVD. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the area let me tell you that it involved a walk up a very, very, very steep hill. I thought I might need oxygen at the top. Fortunately the walk back down was much more pleasant. I then spent an hour or so bitching at another beachside location with a good friend. The area was full of English people again. Don't get me wrong - I'm aware of the double standard I'm about to present - but do all of the 1 million English people in Australia have to live near me or use my bus stop? I shouldn't complain but they're just so loud. Not like me and my dulcet, well modulated tones. Finally came home to read the paper and listen to some more Stephen Fry's podcasts. I found them at about 7am today. Why have I not discovered these before? I was listening to one of them on my iPod as I wheezed up the hill this morning. I'm not sure I would have made it without dear Stephen and his rant.

Had a little nap, made an apple crumble, watched Doctor Who. Now that's what I call a weekend.

Hopefully I'll have something more interesting for you to read later in the week. Who knows, at this rate it'll probably be a piece on my double standards. Ooh, and don't forget to watch the Paralympics.

*Just in case anyone in the UK is interested, the Doctor Who episode we had tonight was Midnight. Bloody amazing. Three episodes to go and Rose is back next week. I am deeply distressed by this turn of events. Donna is an excellent companion and I really, really don't want anything bad to happen. Post spoilers in the comments section and I will hunt you down and kill you.*

04 September, 2008

I'm using yumour, Kimmy, yumour!

I don't have much to report today but I thought I'd tell you a joke. I've edited it from its first posting to make more sense.

A man and woman in their late 60s meet through a dating website. Their first date is a boat trip. They set off in a two man boat and are having a very pleasant time. Eventually, they come to a fork in the river. "Up or down?" asks the man. The woman suddenly tears her clothes off, jumps on top of him and they have mad, passionate sex. He's a bit puzzled but the sex was amazing so he doesn't complain. They carry on along the river until they come to another fork. "Up or down?" he asks again. The same thing happens. The woman jumps on him and they have another session. He doesn't complain and thinks the date one of the best he's ever had. At the end of the day, they say goodbye and the man goes home feeling like the king of the world.

He rings the woman later in the week and arranges another date, out in the boat again. They meet, get in and set off. They arrive at the first fork. "Up or down?" he asks. "Oh, I don't mind." says the woman. The man is a bit puzzled but they carry on. Soon they reach the second fork. "Up or down?" he asks. "Oh, wherever. I'm not fussed." answers the woman. The man is a bit confused. They paddle on for a while but the mans curiosity gets the better of him. "Are you not having a good time?" "Yes," she replies. "Why, aren't you?"

"Well, yes, but I'm just wondering why this date is so different. Last time we had mad passionate sex and this week you don't seem interested."

"Oh. Well, last week I wasn't wearing my hearing aid. When you said 'up or down' I thought you were saying 'fuck or drown!"

Of course, if you haven't seen Kath & Kim then the title will mean nothing. Then again if you haven't seen Kath & Kim the question is why the bloody hell not?

01 September, 2008

A lovely little book

Pinch, punch, first day of the month. Speaking of punching, if the people in the flat above me don't stop making all that noise I might go up there and threaten them with a wallop.

Right. What was it I was going to talk to you about? Can't remember. I'll tell you about the book I've just read instead.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a lovely little book. This must be true as three people have said it. One is the person who sent it to me, my favourite cousin, (waves in general direction of central London) who shares my taste in books so completely that it's almost as though we were hatched from the same pod. It arrived shortly before my birthday with a Post It note informing me that 'it really is a lovely little book'. It took me about 6 hours to read it and I concur. I was telling one of my work colleagues about it today when one of my nurse friends walked in. "Are you talking about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? I've read that. It's a lovely little book." So there you have it. Funnily enough my friend told me that she'd planned on giving it to me for my birthday but when she went into the book shop near her home they didn't have any.

The main character is Juliet, a writer living in post war London. She wrote a column for a London newspaper during the war and is struggling with writers block. The book is based on the letters which pass between Juliet, her good friend Sophie, her friend and publisher Sidney and various residents on the island of Guernsey. Her correspondence with the Islanders starts when she receives a letter from a Dawsey Adams. He owns a second hand book about an author which used to belong to Juliet. She had written her name and address on the inside cover and he writes to her in the hope that as she can help him locate other books by the same author. He explains that it's hard to come by books on Guernsey and hopes that as she lives in London she can help.

A brief history lesson now follows - Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands. The others are Jersey, Alderney and Sark. They were occupied by the Germans from 1940 to 1945. They are the only parts of Britain to have been occupied. Technically they're not part of the UK as such but it's late and I can't get my head round it at the moment.

And we're back. Juliet starts to correspond with Dawsey and through this she learns about what life was like for the Islanders. Dawsey tells her about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club started by some of the Islanders in order to escape the curfew. Juliet is intrigued. Well, let's face it, who wouldn't be with a title like that?

Her interest in the history of the Islanders piqued, she decides to pay a visit to Guernsey to learn more. Once there she meets the Society members and seems to melt effortlessly into their day to day lives.

I won't say too much in case you decide to read it. I will say that it reminded me of 84 Charing Cross Road. They're both based on letters and they're both love stories, although not necessarily in the sense of romance.

Sadly, the book was the authors first and last. Mary Ann Shaffer died last year. She only began writing in her 60s after being encouraged to do so by members of her book club. It's a great shame that she didn't start sooner.

Do read it. It's not Proust but it is a lovely little book.