toxicsoup

Well, not toxic, exactly... maybe just a little bit rank. But in a nice way. With a garnish.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

lovey-darling

I cycle home.

It has been a very long day and Toby, my car, is in the garage so that the Nice Garage Man can find, and remove, a squeak.

I like cycling, but not through Cardiff city centre.
For some reason the motorists of Cardiff seem to regard it as a blood sport, seeing who can drive closest to the cyclist. I notice the other cyclists on the road have a hunted look in their eyes and dodgy stains around their arse-regions.
I strap my helmet on and check that I have my Determined Expression, before I push myself out into the steady stream of traffic….

It is a minefield.
Drivers who drive too close.
Drivers who won’t let you change lane.
Drivers who don’t even notice you.
Drivers who overtake and then slam their brakes on right in front of you.
Drivers who rabbit away on their mobile phones while obliviously ramming you into the gutter.

Bastards.

I flinch as a bus blasts past me and pulls in too early, cutting me up and narrowly missing my front tyre. It farts hot exhaust fumes in my face and I swear ferociously.
That’ll teach him.

I clunk onwards, muttering away to myself and scowling at anyone who isn't on a pushbike.

My phone rings.

Wobbling past the City Hall, I half stand in my saddle and ease my phone out of my jeans pocket, negotiating a startled pedestrian and not mowing her down at all.
It is fortunate for everyone around me that (i) I am riding a bike that has two wheels and, (ii) that I am such a skilled cyclist with an in-built sense of balance.

It is the Nice Garage Man, who wants to know if I am on my way.

“I am!” I say, doing my best smiley-voice.

He is very chatty and we have a friendly little natter, while I peddle along leisurely around all the hundreds of people that seem to be standing around in front of the museum.
It’s a lovely day; they must all have decided to come to come and stand on the pavement by the museum at the same time. What a coincidence!

I cycle even more slowly. Cycling and talking on the phone is something that should only be reserved for the very talented, like me, but even I have to reduce the pace.

There really are a LOT of people around today. Quite a few of them have massive cameras and they are not even Japanese! How strange.
I notice that the road is cordoned off and there are some police officers standing around.

It is illegal to phone and drive and, I assume that extends to cycling. Oops! I pull to the side of the road and hide my phone quickly in my hoodie, trying to look as innocent as possible and like I haven’t got an ASBO.

A person who looks how you would imagine an agitated film director to look, waves his arms at me in an agitated film-director kind of way and I look at him blankly.

Just behind him is a camera crew…

…and a bloke with a big fluffy microphone on a stick… and a gaggle of actors, being all Lovey-Darling.

I have cycled right into the middle of a film shoot.

I hurry away..

Doo-Wop Horses

Crank your sound up and click on and off these horses to make them sing.

What else?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

sidelines

The ball zooms past me and I launch myself at it!

I have very good hand-eye coordination and have played for several Quite Important teams in the past. Of course, back in those days I was thin and lithe and didn’t need to tuck my stomach in my socks, but even so – hand-eye coordination is a skill that never goes away, that’s a scientifically proven fact. Much like riding a bike.

However, today I am riding a bike and it's not at all like riding a bike.
It has to be said in my defence, this bike only has one wheel… but I am disappointed in my lack of innate Unicycle Hockey skill.

I have been imagining this moment (my first ever Unicycle Hockey match) for weeks now and, I am always really good. The David Beckham of circus skills.
I dodge down the wing, do a cunning hop to the side while flicking the ball across the pitch. The winger flicks it back and I catch it skilfully, spinning on the spot, quickly glance up and deftly slam it diagonally through the defenders… into the back of the net.

The crowd goes wild.

I do a Forward Unicycle-Somersault and lap up the praise, screams of joy from the spectators, a unicycle talent scout madly scribbling in his notebook…..

***

I wobble a few feet, get the hockey stick inexplicably caught somehow under my armpit and fall off in a tangle of feet, peddles and hockey stick.
Bugger.

I crawl back to my feet and drag my unicycle back to the wall. Hanging on for dear life, I haul myself back to my teetering, sweaty position at the side of the pitch, diligently guarding the radiator….

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Sunday Game

Imp and I have been gardening today and I managed not to get eaten alive by ants or to get munched to nothingness by other creepy-crawlies.
Can't say the same for the plants we were supposed to be guarding. I shall be rushing out first thing tomorrow morning to buy a massive industrial-size cannister of slug pellets and a .22 rifle to 'persuade' next doors cats to stay away.
If the rifle doesn't work I will be resorting to land mines.

On a lighter note, I have been spending the past hour guiding Orangutwang through a maze of spiders and wasps in an effort to collect all the bananas.

Er.. yep.

Imp is in the front room typing up important reports and being Grown Up. I am in the dining room playing Orangutwang.
Says it all, really.

For those of you who have no dignity (or work ethic), check it out.
This is a brilliant *teabreak game* (ahem) as it is mouse controlled, therefore leaving the other hand free for ringing through to the person opposite you to ask them to fetch you a cuppa. Honestly, you'll be dead popular.

Click

Thursday, June 22, 2006

depilation

Imp waxes my legs!

It is for a special birthday treat. (For her, not me).
We will have to engage in serious discussions as to whether this will ever be repeated again. Maybe next year, when the swelling has gone down.

When I say ‘Imp waxes my legs’, what I really mean is ‘Imp waxes a line on one of my legs’.

It all seems to go far too fast for me. What I would like is for the wax to be applied and then for us to maybe go for an extended weekend break somewhere quiet and secluded, while I gather myself together and have a think about it. Like in films, where the hero (who is about to die from something terrible like a rare blood disease or being beheaded) will stand at the top of a cliff, hair being whipped around his face by a gusty storm (or should that be ‘stormy gusts’?) and gaze moodily out to sea, thinking and being brave.
I need time, before the deed is done.

The wax is applied, a strip of cloth placed onto the still-hot wax and then (accompanied by a vicious grin) Imp rips the strip, my leg hairs and the top layer of skin from my leg. No gentle discussions like ‘Are you ready, Darling?’… Nope. Just that sound you hear when you pull apart two pieces of Velcro, drowning out my cries of agony.

I inspect what is left of my leg.

It is red and blotchy and, just down there, above my ankle, there is a dot of blood. IMP HAS MADE ME BLEED!

Quicker than the speed of light, she dives for my leg and does it again, (wax, rip, PAIN!) before I can hurl myself at the carpet, weeping, and crawl away to the bathroom to mop up my wounds and hide until the coast is clear…

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

24 hours

I have juggled all my appointments around so that I can work all night on Wednesday.

Now that I am a Very Important Drugs Worker, my diary is a thing of great beauty and busy-ness. Did I mention that it is because I am Very Important?

It is the summer solstice and I will be working at Stonehenge.
I'm not a hippy or a druid or au fait with ley-lines at all, but I am still looking forward to being there at that magical moment when the sun moves above the horizon, blazing magestically through the ancient stones...............

er.......................

........... on Thursday morning???

Thursday the 22nd of June????

"_?"

I wrinkle my forehead and squint again at my diary.

I have a very bad feeling about this.

***

I rush to the office to find my boss.

"Solstice-Sunrise-TuesdayNight-BigStones-TooLate-Help!-TerribleMistake!", I pant, sweat cascading from my brow, somewhat in a panic.

She stares at me.

I translate, explaining that I think we are about to turn up for the summer solstice a day late and we haven't even got the services of Cher, who might by now be able to turn back time. This could be a disaster!!

Even though I can do very good Bambi Eyes, I don't think the druid population of Britain will be prepared to hang on until Thursday morning to perform their prancy bits, just because we aren't very good at things like The Days of the Week.

The office goes quiet, save for my arthritic, rasping heart as it noisily attempts to avoid total shutdown.

My boss is pale, as she lunges for the phone...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Sunday Game

This is a game that I got addicted to about 5 years ago and still revisit occasionally.

You are a UFO and your mission is to collect the things on your shopping list and return them to the Mother Ship.

See? Something for everyone... shopping for the girlies and gay boys and, aliens for the boys and gay girls!

Using the arrow keys, have a scout around looking for people to abduct and cars to beam up.
Use the space bar to zap them up and keep an eye on the energy bar (indicator of energy, not Kelloggs Nutrigrain...) which goes down as you use up the power it takes to beam. Recharge by having a rest or hovering over the Mother Ship.

Along the way you'll get shot at by rival aliens, which keeps things interesting... and remember, you move slower the more cargo you have on board. Unload every now and again.

There are 10 levels, which get progressively harder as you go along.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to beat my 200730 top score.

Click

Saturday, June 17, 2006

no fit state

I join the circus!!

It is a scientific fact that only those at their peak of physical fitness; gods and godesses of movement and balance, can join the circus.

I clamber onto my pushbike, tuck my stomach over the handlebars and wobble the half mile to the circus training school where I will be welcomed with open arms as the new hockey-playing, unicycling prodigy.

Unicycle hockey is the obvious activity to hone my skills in my quest to become a world-famous mountain unicycle instructor and, to help me stay on for a greater distance than the length of floor that my prone body takes up while unconscious..

And to be quite honest, I'm surprised that there aren't more people there. I mean, what do other people do on a Thursday night???


fightin'

It's Saturday and it's too hot to go out.

Better waste time then, watching ingenius little films on the internet and generally not doing housework. (don't tell Imp)

Click

Thursday, June 15, 2006

streamline

I can’t stand it for one moment more, all that leg hair gently swirling around in the bath like seaweed, weighing me down.

I have promised Imp that I will grow my leg hairs so that she can have a go at waxing them.
I am secretly terrified. (don’t tell anyone)

We bought a pack of leg wax from a cheapo shop and it is now hanging over me like the Sword of Damocles. But much more scary.
One day soon, Imp is going to heartlessly rip the hair from my body. I notice she is looking quite excited about this and far too happy for my liking.
I am beginning to jump whenever she appears behind me.


Apparently the hair has to be about 1cm long.
Luckily I am blessed with hair that crawls from my follicles at roughly the speed of a Citroen 2CV trundling down a very steep hill.

However, it has still taken more than a week and I am becoming more and more aware of my leg hair.
Who would have thought that leg hair could be so obtrusive?
I can feel it snagging on the inside of my jeans and building up static, waiting to thump massive amounts of electrical charge through me every time I attempt to drop my pants while hovering over the toilet seat.
This is not acceptable, as I beginning to dread going to the toilet, which is normally one of my greatest pleasures. I will have to research the benefits of wearing wellies. (as an earth, not to wee into)

I wonder if the Electricity Board would be interested in wiring me up and buying the excess energy? This is an environmentally friendly idea and I might approach them about it. Contemporary, cutting edge, resourceful, that's me. I could be rich beyond my wildest dreams.

If I find that anyone reads this and steals the idea from me I will sulk.

I look down at my hairy, static, hairy, hairyhairyHAIRY legs and fight the urge to remove every last one. My hand shakes and the razor beckons.

No, I can't. I promised Imp.

I stare at the razor.

It stares back.

Glancing around quickly for intruders in my bathroom who might snitch on me,
I grab it and, guiltily allow myself just one stripe from each leg…




Monday, June 12, 2006

shower cubicle

I can’t put it off any longer.

The shower needs re-grouting and that means that someone will have to get in there and get the old grout out.

It’s not funny, either.
Ever since Victoria Wood met Julie Walters, grouting has become funny. It’s apparently a funny working class way of avoiding sex.

“Wanna make lurrrrve?”

“Can’t, I’ve got to do the grouting”*.

*you had to be there…

Anyway, I’m not laughing.

I’ve been to B&Q twice to buy all the things that you might need to scrape the old grout out and put some new grout in.
I’ve cleared the shower of sticky bottles and old shapeless bits of soap.
I’ve had a coffee and I’ve researched it all on the internet.
I’ve procrastinated.
It didn’t work.

I climb in to the shower.

The window is wide open because it is the hottest day since they invented thermometers and the earth’s core is bubbling merrily a few feet beneath where I’m standing. (That’s in the shower, in case you’ve forgotten).

I climb out again and go and get myself a glass of water.

I climb back in.

I grasp my little orange plastic grout-scraping-tool and begin scratching away feverishly. I make some of my growling noises that I normally reserve for gardening or hitting things. The blades flashes and stabs and I’m sure it will all be done in an hour or so.

A little mark appears in the grouting.

I hack harder.

This is remarkable.

There are holes and cracks everywhere. ‘Porous’ would be an understatement. It is so riddled with holes that you would expect that it would all practically throw itself at me, in a sighing, hands-up-you-got-me resigned kind of way. But it doesn’t budge.

Bastard.

The grouting hangs on for dear life and I allow myself the luxury of swearing, just a tiny bit.

A miniscule speck of old grout, about the size of a flake of dandruff, floats to the ground.

It is lucky that I am so good at DIY because most people would be disheartened at this point.

I scowl at it and dig in once again.

The temperature is now about 35,000,000,00000000000 degrees centigrade in my shower cubicle and I can hear other people’s skin sizzling outside through the open window, as they get themselves a nice tan.

Another bit of grouting dislodges and drops to join the other microscopic bit of grout-dust at my feet.

A trickle of sweat launches itself from my chin and I whimper in despair.

2 specks down, only about 40 metres of grouting to go.

Another trickle of sweat; this time making a break for it down my nose.

I hold back a tear.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday Game

I realised this week that I missed my 1st anniversary.
Ah well. Serves me right for being so remiss in posting recently. That's what comes of spending two weekends in a shower cubicle.

Without further explanation, I'm sure everyone will understand (use your imaginations..) why I still feel like blowing things up.

This game gives you a chance to play three rounds of blasting your opponants then buggering off back to work. Three rounds, that's all you get, folks. Unless you reload everything, it doesn't seem to do anything else... but believe me, three rounds is enough to get you addicted enough to not mind.
I recommend taking a Sickie tomorrow morning.

This is Boyz in the Hood without the blood or language. Or the teenage pregnancies.

Well, actually it's nothing like it, but there you go.

Click

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

out of your tree

I say ‘fucked’ and the teacher blinks.

I am standing at the front of a classroom faced by a row of 15-yr olds and dishing out the ground-rules for the session and, the rule is that no one can say ‘fucked’.

We are about to think of as many words as possible for being drunk. ‘Fucked’ is a good one, but now I’ve said it I’ve spoiled their fun and the giggling soon dies away.

“Of course, there are loads of other words that describe being drunk… and we can use those words in this session, but only because we’re talking about being drunk,” I explain.

An arm shoots up into the air.

I do my Serious Teacher Face and nod toward the owner.

“Yes?”

“Miss, what words do you mean, miss?” She has a gleam in her eye.

I wait until they are all quiet.

“Arse-holed,” I mention, gravely.

An entire room of girls snort at exactly the same time. It sounds like a mass sneeze. I duck to avoid snot.
The teacher looks a bit uncomfortable and I beam across at her.

“And ‘wankered’,” I add, enjoying myself enormously.

I have their attention, fully and without exception. Faces gaze up at me, temporarily forgetting that they’re supposed to be cool and aloof because that is the law when you are 15.

I love being a drugs worker. It means I get to say naughty words in school and I don’t get told off or sent to the Headteacher.

Enthusiastically and with heads down, they all begin madly scribbling, anxious to outdo me.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Sunday Game

Sometimes you just need to say "To hell with it all," and blow a few things up.

Other days you just need to say "To hell with it all," and blow yourself up.

This is a blowing-yourself-up day.
In a fishing boat.
So don't expect it to be logical.

You have a tiny little planet, a tugboat and a load of missiles being launched at you. A bit of a bad day, then, at anyone's stretch of the imagination.

Obviously as everyone knows, rainbows are Good and therefore can be used to repair health levels or to use as barriers against all the naughty things.
I do it all the time, but I get funny looks in the street.

Oh, and don't forget to catch fish.

X-treme Tugboating is a really nice, colourful, slightly off the wall game. Wacky graphics and tidy little effects, once you've got used to the weird perspective. Hugely addictive and a fantastic coffee-break game.
Best of all, you only need one hand, thus leaving the other free as usual for Other Stuff.

Click

Thursday, June 01, 2006

stinky

I wash my trainers!

They are my favourite trainers and I wear them as often as possible. They even double up as slippers, as I am far too cool to wear slippers. It has been scientifically proven that only old ladies wear slippers.

My shoes really stink – enough to bring about cardiac arrest in fact - and the time has come to peel them from my feet and put them in the machine. I wipe away a tear, hold my breath and make a dash for the washing liquid...

***

The problem with having a landlord who switches the heating off in April is that, as well as having a bloody freezing cold flat and frostbite, nothing dries in less than 3 days.

My flat resembles a Chinese laundry. Without the heat.
Or anything Chinese.

Cold, damp clothes lie strewn on every radiator, slowly rotting and gathering mildew, while I sit shivering under my duvet waiting for October.

I balance my trainers upside down in the kitchen.
The kitchen is the only room in the flat that benefits from direct sunlight. I vainly hope that somehow the warmth of the sun will soak through the soles of my shoes and dry them out.
I’m sure they will be airy and fresh-smelling in a couple of days time.

I dig out my emergency trainers and go to stay at Imp’s house for a few days, where there is heating and breakfast-in-bed.

***

My trainers are dry and I am wearing them!

They stink of damp.

Imp politely turns her head away every time she needs to inhale.